'Strong message': Mayors meet with NSW Premier

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: Chris Lane
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: Chris Lane

Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller said today's meeting with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was an opportunity to send a strong message that south-west Sydney was "more than just a postcode."

Ms Waller was joined by mayors from other Local Government Areas of concern including Fairfield, Campbelltown, and Canterbury-Bankstown for the virtual meeting to discuss concerns facing south-west Sydney including COVID-19 curfew constraints and the need for an economic repair package.

The Premier initially refused to meet with mayors in the city's 12 hotspot regions.

Ms Waller said she asked for the curfew to be lifted as it is "unnecessary."

"We are pleased that the NSW Premier has now invited local government to have a place at the table. Today's meeting reinforced the need for the NSW Government to listen and take advice from local councils which are the grassroots level of government closest to the community," she said.

"Many members of the community have told me they no longer feel like we're all in this together. It has been an isolating experience when you look at some parts of Sydney captured in the media over the weekend, frolicking on the beautiful beaches and enjoying the spring sunshine. Meanwhile, police helicopters continue to fly over the South West and Western suburbs in an unnecessary show of force.

"The vast majority of the Liverpool community are doing the right thing and we continue to show our great resilience even though we are doing it tough. I'm proud of our COVID-19 vaccination rate which stands at around 80 per cent for first doses and council continues to be highly supportive of the vaccination hubs in Liverpool.

"I along with the rest of the Liverpool community want our way of life and freedoms to be restored when it is safe to do so."

Ms Waller said more consultation is necessary to "voice the concerns" of the community.

Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone took to Facebook to ask the community what questions he should ask the mayor with people concerned about the definition of a "hot spot" suburb and the different rules and restrictions for different areas.

Mr Carbone said there were many "obvious issues" that needed to be raised with the Premier including releasing of restrictions, increased financial assistance, removing curfews and stopping he different treatment based on postcodes.

"Be assured I expressed a lot of points on the importance of treating everyone the same, fairly and the need to bring people together, so we can move forward no matter where people live. The most important focus was on restoring people's quality of life, restoring choices and a way forward," he said.

"I appreciate the time the Premier made to listen to the concerns and she was generous with her time and engaging in the conversation.

"I have hope that the meeting will now provide a more positive way forward in uniting our city and most importantly in fighting this virus together.

"I only wished this happened previously and I have hope that with a better understanding we can move forward in the community best interests.

"No decisions were made during the meeting, but a commitment was given that all the issues raised will be discussed and considered."

This story 'Strong message': Mayors meet with NSW Premier first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.