The decision by those in power to lock Fairfield residents in, unless they get tested every three days, showed the lack of lived experiences and cultural diversity at the very senior leadership level of our government.
No one, patently, at the very senior ranks, understand the struggles, the challenges, the long hours of work, the extended family responsibilities, the familial obligations, the communication barriers, the daily responsibilities and the hard work that the majority of our city’s residents have to go through, to juggle to put food on the table, to pay bills, to act as translators to their elderly parents, to navigate the political and bureaucratic systems, and manage their lives, so that they can live productively.
Almost a year since the outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel, and nearly 18 months since Covid hit the world, our Government still hasn’t got it right.
I have until this point, put my trust in the NSW Government to be mature, knowledgeable, rational, balanced and fair when it came to managing the pandemic. But sending police into our city on horses, and the July 13th decision to put an imaginary wall around our city to lock people in, unless they get tested every three days, has not only caused panic and frustration, but left our suburbs congested and gridlocked.
The decision to build this invisible wall came as a shock to us, made worse by the fact that no additional resources were put in place to ensure that when this decision was announced, it would be managed smoothly so that our city had the opportunity to do the right thing. Our people have always done the right thing. Our residents have always complied.
Residents have reached out to me, asking why. Why do they have to get tested every three days? Why weren’t compulsory vaccinations imposed on frontline workers such as limousine drivers and nurses? Why wasn’t Bondi locked down earlier?
While people have until July 16th to ‘comply’ with the new orders, imagine yourself, going to line up every three days to get tested in between dropping off your kids to your parents who live in the next LGA, or even within the LGA, and then driving to a clinic to queue up for hours. You might then need to drive to an office or go and open your restaurant, all the while trying to remember what rules were in place today.
Or imagine, you’re a delivery driver, and you have to deliver in the early hours of the morning, at 430am, and then coming back late and having to wait in the queue to get tested, before driving back to your family.
These are families with children. Not one child, but two, three, sometimes more than five children. These are families whose responsibilities lie not just in putting food on the table for their own nuclear family, but responsibilities to their extended families as well. The strong family ties within our culturally ethnic communities are undeniable.
It is time to stop blaming the people of our community. It’s time to stop the division which is triggering emotional and social upheaval. Our people work, vote, pay their taxes, and pay for our leaders and public service to make decisions that will make their lives better, more productive, and cohesive. Our leaders are not there to build invisible walls. Does anyone in government understand this?