Premier, Deputy Premier to meet mayors of local government areas of concern

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: File Image
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: File Image

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has finally agreed to meet with community leaders in Sydney's local government areas of concern.

The Premier initially refused to meet with mayors in the city's 12 hotspot regions, including Liverpool, Campbelltown, Georges River, Fairfield and Bayside, earlier this month.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns also called on Ms Berejiklian to hold a meeting with leaders in these communities back in August, before announcing he would hold virtual summit for community stakeholders last week.

Local Government NSW president Linda Scott said she welcomed the Premier's change of heart.

"Many of these mayors tell us they have been ignored by the state government, despite their work on the frontlines to support their communities through the COVID crisis," she said.

"Following our advocacy efforts, the Premier reached out to organise a series of meetings to discuss the most effective ways to jointly support the two million-plus residents these mayors represent.

"It is really pleasing to see the Premier acknowledge the critical role being played by local government by taking a collaborative approach to the crisis she herself has described as one of the most difficult issues of our time.

"I have every confidence these discussions involving both the Premier and Deputy Premier will help the push to get communities vaccinated and NSW out of lockdown."

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro also announced that he would meet with regional mayors and community leaders this week.

Cr Scott said the September 17 meeting had been organised to discuss how best to boost regional vaccination rollouts, testing facilities, sewer testing and pathways out of lockdown.

Mr Minns' will still hold a virtual economic summit with community stakeholders including community, religious and business leaders.

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

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

"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.

"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."