Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park has hit out at the NSW Government for snubbing Illawarra residents when it comes to 'test and isolate payments'.
The Keira MP was happy the payments were finally being introduced but was disappointed Illawarra residents will miss out on this important support measure designed to provide financial help to those who need to isolate and wait for test results to come back.
Labor has been calling for the 'test and isolate' payment to ensure workers including casuals and those without appropriate leave benefits were able to isolate and stop the potential further spread of COVID.
Mr Park said there was no room for half measures in a pandemic, when lives were at stake.
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'I can't believe the payments aren't going to be extended statewide. What that means for our region is that people in the Illawarra and the South Coast miss out," he said on Saturday
"Why is the NSW Government forgetting places like the Illawarra and South Coast where we know the Delta strain of COVID is spreading?
"This is not a Sydney problem. It is an issue across the Illawarra and South Coast where as recently as a few days ago we had reported cases and thousands of locals did the right thing and went and got tested."
Mr Park also took the opportunity to explain some new compliance measures Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Saturday.
Under changes to take effect from Monday, August 16 the 10 kilometre rule for Greater Sydney and other lockdown areas will be reduced, with shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation to be done in a person's local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within five kilometres of home.
LGAs of concern must still exercise and shop within 5kms from home only.
"People in the Wollongong LGA can exercise anywhere from Helensburgh to Dapto," Mr Park said.
He supported the tough new measures, which also included increased fines of up to $5000 for COVID breaches, permits to enter regional NSW and a heightened police presence.
"All of us want to get out of lockdown and all of us want these measures to work," Mr Park said.
"Clearly, seven weeks in, we're losing this battle and we need to change tact. That's why we support the measures but we do want to see the test and isolate payments increased right across the state.
"We don't understand why these important payments haven't happened. We've been advocating, as has the trade union movement, for some time.
"The payments have been in place in Victoria.
"We believe they should be across the state because we know with this Delta strain, it is infecting communities both here in the Illawarra and South Coast and right across NSW."