Bondi, Wollongong beaches crowded despite south west Sydney lockdown

Crowds also flocked to Port Kembla on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Anna Warr
Crowds also flocked to Port Kembla on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Anna Warr

There is no doubt that Sydney experienced some glorious weather this weekend and lots of people made the most of it - that is except for those who live in south west and western Sydney.

For Sydneysiders living in local government areas of concern, including Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bayside, Fairfield and St George, residents were able to enjoy some outdoor exercise with their relatives or one other person and had to remain within 5 kilometres of their home.

In Bondi, it was a different story.

Thousands of eager beachgoers were able to lap up the warm Spring weather while those in the southwest were contained to their locked down regions.

Macarthur MP Dr Mike Freelander said the scenes witnessed at Bondi and in the eastern suburbs 'rightfully' angered locals.

"It is a hard thing to see after 11 weeks in lockdown, after having a curfew imposed on our community, and after so many businesses and local families have been struggling," he said.

"Local residents are rightfully questioning the disgusting double-standards we are seeing in terms of the enforcement of our public health orders.

"The outbreak, which began in the eastern suburbs, has wreaked havoc upon western and south-western Sydney.

"It is a hard thing to digest - seeing hundreds of people openly flout the rules, and authorities turn a blind eye in the very same communities today."

Crowds also flocked to Wollongong's beaches, like Port Kembla.

Dr Freelander said despite the NSW Government's affirmations, this has become 'a tale of two cities'.

"Cities that are divided on socioeconomic status, divided based on arbitrary boundaries and divided based on the haves and the have-nots," he said.

"Our region is, by and large, keeping the state operating. Our essential workers, our healthcare workers, our teachers, our warehouse staff and our cleaners have worked to protect and ensure the safety of those in more affluent communities.

"One only has to look at our vaccination rates to see that local residents are taking this virus seriously and are, by and large, doing the right thing. It is time that the government stopped treating us as second-class citizens."

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said his party was 'very, very worried' about a divided city.

"A different set of rules applying to millions of people that live in western Sydney and south-western Sydney," he said.

"If you live near a beach, that's great for you, but freedoms need to be returned to the people who live in western Sydney and the government can start with scrapping the curfew."

Opposition spokesman for western Sydney and Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said the scenes of packed beaches on the weekend were 'a kick in the guts for residents' in western Sydney.

"This is not a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said.

"Residents who reside near beaches choose to do so for a reason.

"But when there are scores of people not wearing masks or social distancing at those beaches in the eastern suburbs, it's little wonder that it draws the ire of people here in Campbelltown who have been virtually housebound for so long."