'Point of no return': Mayor blasts Sydney's 'Armageddon' lockdown extension

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A mayor in Sydney’s west has taken aim at the lockdown extension referring to it as “Armageddon” for many residents.

The NSW government announced on Wednesday lockdown will be extended for a further four weeks until August 28.

Steve Christou, mayor of Cumberland Council in Sydney’s west, has called the extension “a point of no return”.

“Families and businesses in western Sydney have struggled through the first five weeks, only to be told they will be burdened with another four weeks,” Cr Christou said in a statement.

Steve Christou, Mayor of Cumberland City Council, is pictured.
Cumberland City Council Mayor Steve Christou has slammed the latest Sydney lockdown extension and the effect it is having on his constituents. Source: Facebook/ Steve Christou

Western Sydney residents 'struggling' under lockdown

Cr Christou’s LGA is one of eight under tighter lockdown restrictions which means residents cannot leave the area unless they are on the critical worker list. More police have also been deployed to the area to ensure people follow the health orders.

He added “many” residents in Cumberland have told him they are struggling to pay rent and bills.

“It’s devastating that the many businesses that support families will not reopen,” he said.

“The construction ban continues on our local government area – obstructing people from making a living. For many, it’s Armageddon.”

He called the lockdown “economically crippling” and blamed it on a “haphazard vaccination rollout”.

A man is seen leaving the newly opened South Western Sydney Vaccination Centre at Macquarie Fields in Sydney, Australia.
The Cumberland mayor says more vaccination clinics are needed in the area. Source: Getty Images

The mayor cited clinics which have opened in the Cumberland City area administering 1500 jabs a week which, while they are welcome, fall “well short of what we need”.

“State MPs have taken the decision to lockdown people’s lives and ruin them financially, and it’s taken a huge toll on mental health,” he said.

Cr Christou added the decision to lockdown is “out of touch”.

“They’re not doing the heavy lifting they’ve demanded of us,” he said.

He is not the only mayor in Sydney to voice his disapproval over the lockdown and its impacts.

More police patrols during Sydney lockdown

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone hit out at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier this month over a rule which requires residents leaving the LGA to carry proof they have been Covid tested in the past 72 hours.

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday said she is “as upset and frustrated” as residents are in having to continue the lockdown.

"We have to deal with the cards here before us and the situation before us, and that is why we have taken the action we have,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian said police would up their patrols to ensure residents are abiding by the public health order.

"Can I also stress that people should expect a greater police presence, a greater focus on compliance," she said.

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