St George Matters with Chris Minns: Freedom day is here but the job is not done yet

Chris Minns celebrating Freedom day at Revesby Workers Club.
Chris Minns celebrating Freedom day at Revesby Workers Club.

After a long 107 days in lockdown, restrictions finally started to ease on Monday.

'Freedom Day' for many means reuniting with loved ones, friends and family. Some returned to the office or gym. And many, myself included, said goodbye to lockdown-inflicted hairstyles.

I want to thank the millions of people who rolled up their sleeves to get the jab, in particular those who held concerns about the vaccine but consulted with health professionals and got it for the sake of their community.

I want to thank the small businesses that closed their doors and made great personal sacrifices to protect us all.

And I want to thank everyone who followed the health advice and abided by the restrictions and the public health orders.

I also extend my gratitude to the community organisations that stepped up during this time. I've seen firsthand how charities and faith organisations support thousands of people in need by providing food, clothing and care. I was pleased to be able raise money for the Rev. Bill Crews' Exodus Foundation by cutting my own lockdown mullet.

Finally, thank you to the frontline and healthcare workers. I know the job is not yet done and if modelling is correct, cases are expected to go up. But your selflessness, by putting the health of our state before your own, is appreciated. We would not have gotten through the lockdown without your sacrifice.

Freedom Day is a day of celebration, but the job is not done yet. As we come out the other side of this lockdown and look to the future, it is now time we rebuild our economy and help get individuals, businesses and whole suburbs back on their feet.

We need a comprehensive economic recovery plan to ensure no individual or business is punished for doing the right thing during the past 16 weeks by staying home and closing their doors.