With substantial increase in COVID-19 delta strain transmissions, lockdown of greater Sydney in general and western Sydney in particular has been tightened with army called in to enforce it.
Meanwhile the NSW Labor opposition has been questioned over its lack of strategy to hold the Berejiklian government accountable for its handling of the pandemic specially in the Labor dominated electorates in South Western Sydney.
The NSW government has significantly tightened restrictions for Sydney’s south-west and west where residents must stay within a five-kilometre radius of their home and making it compulsory to wear a mask at all times when outside the home in eight local government areas: Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown.
Both the federal and NSW state government has been criticised over mixed and contradictory massaging specially in regards to vaccination and its rollout for the Australian population.
The UK scientist who created the AstraZeneca vaccine, Professor Sarah Gilbert waded into the debate over whether the wider use of AstraZeneca could have shortened or even prevented lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns had offered bipartisan support to Berejiklian government in COVID-19 crisis management during the crisis.
Mr Minns, Member for Kogarah, took charge of NSW Labor as the Opposition leader in early June this year when former leader Jodie McKay quit after a crisis over state leadership in May.
Residents in areas that have traditionally supported Labor at the state as well as the federal levels in western and south western have questioned the role of the New South Wales Opposition in holding the state’s Liberal government accountable for its management of the current pandemic.
There is a feeling that the state Liberal government has employed double standards in its treatment of the Labor-dominated suburbs of Sydney which a populated by multicultural communities.
During an interview by Rehan Alavi of SBS Urdu, Zia Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of news portal The Australasian Muslim Times AMUST who lives in the Fairfield City Council’s Bonnyrigg suburb talked about the public sentiment in this local government area.
“Living under strict restrictions, the residents of the Labor-dominated areas of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown feel that these areas have been treated in an inconsistent manner when compared with those in the eastern and northern suburbs of Sydney,” Zia said.
Irfan Yousuf, who writes in AMUST and other publication told SBS Urdu that the Liberal party’s right-wing is not pleased with Ms Berejiklian’s policies as she announced the lockdown despite the pressure not to do so, following the advice of the state’s chief medical officer.
“New South Wales Labor’s leadership is trying to keep itself away from politics and has adopted a policy of supporting the Berejiklian government’s actions which are based on health experts’ advice,” he said.
Zia has also been critical of the federal government’s vaccine rollout strategy, saying that its failure to secure a supply of vaccines for all Australians and that of the NSW government to develop a vaccination strategy early on during the pandemic, is being seen by people as the cause of the ever-increasing restrictions and the lockdown.
“New South Wales Labor has been silent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the second wave starting in June, on the Liberal government’s poor handling of the pandemic,” Zia claimed.
Meanwhile, new data from NSW Health reveals the virus is spreading much faster among younger people and children in the current outbreak.
Residents in the eight areas of concern namely Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown are not allowed to leave the LGA they live in for work unless they are on the list of authorised workers or the business is allowed to be open.