NSW Labor Leader to meet with mayors of local government areas of concern

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns. Picture: Supplied
NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns. Picture: Supplied

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns will hold a virtual economic summit with community stakeholders in the 12 COVID hotspot regions amid growing concerns of a divided Sydney.

This comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to meet with mayors of the local government areas of concern, including Liverpool, Fairfield, Campbelltown, St George and Bayside.

Mr Minns also called on Ms Berejiklian to hold a summit with leaders in affected communities last month, however the Premier is yet to announce any meeting in these regions.

Mr Minns said south west and western Sydney had been 'doing it incredibly tough' under harsh lockdown conditions imposed by the state government.

"I've been on the ground, listening to small businesses owners yet to receive their support payments, their businesses taking hits to income," he said.

"I've spoken to parents struggling with home schooling. I've heard from people who can't go to work, and are struggling to put food on the table.

"We've said for some time now that the lockdowns and restrictions are impacting parts of Sydney differently.

"We can't have a situation where you can get a rose in Mosman but you can't get a beer in Blacktown.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns

"South west and western Sydney has borne the brunt - both economically and socially - these areas have been hardest hit. The data shows that. They will need extra support on the way out."

"So we believed the focus needs to be on south west and western Sydney."

The 12 affected LGAs have been under tougher restrictions than other parts of Sydney for more than a month, including a nightly curfew and mandatory COVID testing for essential workers.

The virtual meeting will be a chance for community, religious and business leaders to raise their concerns with Mr Minns.

"We want everyone at the table including community leaders and representatives, businesses, religious leaders, unions, social service groups - because we know this will require a whole of community effort to get through this," he said.

"The summit will be held over Zoom."

Mr Minns said he had long been vocal in calling for curfews to be removed.

"These communities have done an incredible job, rolling up their sleeves to do the right thing and get vaccinated," he said.

"We can't have a situation where you can get a rose in Mosman but you can't get a beer in Blacktown.

"It's why we need a roadmap - so people have some clarity about what is coming over the next few months, and they can plan for their lives, their businesses, their families."