It is time for the Premier to release the shackles from Shellharbour.
There is simply no valid argument why at least this part of the Illawarra shouldn't have been freed from the four-week lockdown extension imposed on Greater Sydney and surrounds.
In fact there's a strong argument to say Wollongong shouldn't be far behind.
Gladys Berejiklian did leave the door open for potential changes to restrictions in some areas in the future.
"If we find, in the next few weeks for example, that parts of metropolitan Sydney like the Central Coast, Wollongong or Shellharbour are doing better and don't have any virus, we can also take decisions as we did in Orange ... to allow those communities to live more freely," Ms Berejiklian said.
Well, Shellharbour actually hasn't had ANY of the virus. None.
Not one case since the lockdown started on June 26. How many less than zero does the Premier need?
You can understand an argument for Wollongong to remain for the time being given a number of cases, exposure sites and proximity to Sydney, but even then their influence is minimal compared to the Sydney LGAs.
In a social media post shortly after the announcement, Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba shared her anger, but wisely tempered that with asking for calm.
Public rallies are not the answer for freedom, they only cast a greater shadow over it.
"Four more weeks. I share in your outrage, concern and distress," Mayor Saliba said.
"But please let's not do anything rash, the last thing we need is protests in contravention of the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021, putting pressure on our hardworking Lake Illawarra Police District who are forced to enforce NSW state directives even if they disagree with them. And we cannot give any ammunition to the NSW government to keep us in lockdown."
Exactly. Let's keep doing the right thing and hope for improvement for Wollongong as well as Shellharbour so we can be freed from this nightmare sooner rather than later.
Stay safe. Stay home. Stay connected.
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