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Council Column – 14 April 2020 – Deputy Mayor Tony Wallace

Apr 13, 2020

It would be trite of me not to address the pervading event that is dominating our lives. Covid – 19 has caused society to live very differently and we as individuals are doing our best to follow directions, and act in the best interest of the greater good.

Undoubtedly, governments at a state and federal level did not have any proper pandemic preparations in place and hence have had to make policy on the run. There have been a number of missteps, and yet overall, the approach would appear sound and largely effective.

The question everyone wants answered however is how long the current restrictions will be in place. Can we expect a partial, staged lifting of restrictions in the near future? Are there still to be elements of the current lockdown until a vaccine is developed and available? Can the country and the world afford to continue as it is for much longer and if so, how much longer?

As with other elements of their approach, the NSW government has flip flopped on how long restrictions will remain in place. Initially the Premier indicated they would be in place until a vaccine is available but after words from the Prime Minister, she adopted a totally divergent view that some sanctions could be lifted by May 1. As can be seen, it really is policy on the run.

At a local level, Hilltops Council ably led by General Manager Anthony O’Reilly has been at the forefront of taking action. Council pre-empted other governments by closing public spaces and initiating alternative working arrangements for staff amongst other initiatives. As of 13 April there are only 44 cases in the Murrumbidgee Local Health Area and the number has not been rising significantly. Let’s keep it that way by thinking of others and also ourselves by continuing to be responsible citizens.

Finally, a big thank you to all local health workers and others in essential services who are performing marvellously in unparalleled times.

Tony Wallace

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