Councillor Column- 25 March 2020- Councillor Wendy Tuckerman

25/03/2020
Drought, Bushfires and Covid-19, the triple whammy.  Experts from across the NSW Government have been brought together under one roof to lead the States coordinated, emergency response. Experts from more than 20 critical agencies including Police, Education, Transport and Local Government have joined NSW Health in the State Emergency Operations Centre at the RFS Headquarters in Homebush.
 
 
To help protect the community and jobs in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak the NSW Government has recently announced a Health Boost and Stimulus Package.  If you are a business please ensure you register with Service NSW to ensure any subsidies or waiver of fees and charges are enabled, this includes subsidies for drought and bushfires.  They can also assist with Federal Government stimulus packages recently announced as well. Local businesses are being extremely impacted by the ‘triple whammy’, I also encourage all businesses to access the smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au website for information on what support is available to you.
 
I congratulate those small businesses that are being extremely innovative on how their delivering their services to the community. Please ensure we are supporting all businesses whenever we can to protect local jobs.
 
I have caught up with a number of local supermarket owners and It is quite unbelievable what is occurring and how people are behaving.  Please rest assured there is no need to panic, there is no need to bulk buy, reports of out of area buses bulk buying in our communities are now being managed, our supply chains in NSW and across Australia are robust.  Supermarkets have been reporting cases of abuse towards customers and staff.  This is not how we do things, let’s look out for each other and get through this together.
 
I’m also hearing of wonderful acts of kindness similar to what I witnessed during the bushfire crisis.  Be kind and look out for your neighbour particularly the aged and frail and most vulnerable, make a call today to ensure they are OK.  Also highly contagious is kindness, patience, love, enthusiasm and a positive attitude let’s all lead by example. Please ensure you are practicing social distancing to contain this virus, failure to do this will put lives at risk. Your role and adherence to social distancing will determine the course of this virus, we all have to live differently right now.
 
The Federal Cabinet and the Premier of NSW have had to enact Stage 2 of further widespread restrictions on principle places of social gatherings.  This is necessary to curtail the spread of this deadly virus.  The community’s response will determine when further stages will be enacted.  Can I take this opportunity to thank our health workers, emergency service workers, educational staff and all agencies and employers dealing with this situation, you are doing an extraordinary job under the most difficult of circumstances. Circumstances and advice are constantly changing please keep yourself updated frequently. 
 
Wendy Tuckerman