BY OLIVIA DILLON & JARROD MELMETH
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery is urging the NSW government to rethink its decision to allow construction workers from the Greater Sydney region to travel to Newcastle to work on local building sites.
On Saturday, the Premier announced a pause on all construction across the Greater Sydney region, in an attempt to lower transmission rates on work sites.
The following day, the Premier’s office issued interim advice to allow workers from the Greater Sydney region to work in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
As these areas are situated less than 50kms from the edge of the Greater Sydney area, the travelling workers would not be required to undergo weekly testing.
The Newcastle area has been COVID-19 free for almost 12 months, however there are fears this may change if these workers are allowed to enter the region.
Ms Hornery also fears the Premier is not prioritizing Newcastle’s local community and in turn, the safety of regional NSW.
“Our community must be warned that Sydney construction workers are now in our community who may unknowingly be infected.
“There ought to be a focus on our safe local workers doing local jobs. Not Sydney workers, who may be putting us at risk, coming up from Sydney and travelling to Newcastle to take the jobs of Newcastle people.
“I’m concerned about the Premier’s attitude towards our local communities because I believe she is putting them at risk, and I urge the community to be vigilant in maintaining mask-wearing and keeping isolated,” Ms Hornery said.
During Mondays daily media conference Health Minister Brad Hazzard addressed the concerns about Greater Sydney Workers leaving the lockdown zone to travel to the regions saying its a proportionate risk issue which will continue to be managed.
“They aren’t able to travel from the three locked down local government areas and its only if they are tested with what the public health people call surveillance tests.
“Its like everything else, we will continue to manage this until we have got the vaccine,” Mr Hazzard said.