Frustration has turned to despair’ – Mayor of Burwood issues plea for

Published on 14 September 2021

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For much of its history Parramatta Road has acted as a border, a symbol of a journey. Recently it has come to represent something much darker. It is now a divide between freedom and restrictions causing the population of Burwood significant stress.


Ever since the NSW Government announced Burwood would be an LGA of Concern on 12 August with no prior notice, the community has been forced to endure an unprecedented curtailment of its freedoms, while neighbouring councils with much higher COVID caseloads do not. Burwood has consistently been amongst LGAs with lowest case numbers across Sydney. 


Of particular concern to residents is the curfew (between 9pm and 5am), not being able to spend time with other fully vaccinated friends, and the 5 kilometre rule which is creating confusion for those living on the border of the LGA. 


Mayor John Faker said that while the community has done its duty complying with the hotspot restrictions to help curb the spread of the deadly Delta disease across Sydney, the complete lack of empathy and communication from the State Government has seen optimism turn to despair.


“The Burwood LGA borders literally split suburbs where our community is being forced to see their neighbours right across the street enjoying freedoms not available to them.


“What was once anger amongst our residents is now despair – and while we empathise with the other LGAs of concern also feeling the pain, our community is put in this distressing situation without any adequate explanation,” said Cr Faker.


“I still have not been given an acceptable explanation as to why we remain a hotspot after repeated attempts to contact the Premier and Health Minister for clarification. This is especially frustrating because our residents heeded the call to get vaccinated and tested regularly in the belief that we were all in this together.”


The Mayor said he had been fielding emails and calls from distressed residents and business owners and is at a loss to explain the situation to them.


 “I don’t know what I can tell them. There is no guidance, no map, we just get told the situation will be the same until the health advice changes. It’s simply not good enough from our elected leaders. 


“The Premier has finally conceded to meeting with the Mayors from the 12 LGAS of concerns this week. It’s a start and I hope she listens with an open mind. We’re not Macquarie Street but our community deserves to experience the same freedoms the rest of the state enjoys,” he concluded.