Regional Mayors set to meet with NSW Premier

Regional Mayors in NSW including here in Newcastle and the Hunter will get their meeting with the NSW Premier.

Originally Dominic Perrottet’s office declined the meeting, but have since said they will now meet with the Mayors to discuss COVID-19 safe travel between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW.

The Mayors aren’t impressed though, they wanted the meeting before Greater Sydney and Regional NSW opened up freely today for travel.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle Declan Clausen said it’s frustrating that it took the media over the weekend to turn the decision on a meeting around.

“Fortunately after media conversations yesterday, Local Government NSW received a call from the Premier’s office advising and apologising for the fact that our meeting was declined, they said it was an administrative error and have advised a meeting will be set up,” said Declan Clausen.

“The key focus of that meeting other than obviously an introduction for the Mayors collectively as the largest regional economy in the country to meet with our new Premier, was to discuss the concerns surrounding the health concerns and making sure particularly in smaller parts of the Hunter that our hospitals are appropriately resourced in order to deal with potential changes that come as a result of the border between Greater Sydney and the Hunter changing.”

“And the other element was to talk about the vaccine rollout and just to reiterate that vaccines early in the pandemic were relocated and appointments were cancelled in Newcastle and the Hunter.”

“I’m not calling for a change in the date, more than anything the purpose of the meeting was to ensure the appropriate strategies were in place to make sure that our region could progress,” he said.

“Clearly we can cater for the impact of this change but we needed to make sure the policies and the strategies were in place and be able to have that conversation directly with the Premier so it was disappointing that meeting was declined because it would’ve provided many community leaders across the Hunter with the reassurance we need and therefore the reassurance we could provide our communities that the correct strategies were in place,”

“It is pleasing a meeting has now been agreed to,” said Declan Clausen.

Mayors from the Lower Hunter, Upper Hunter, Mid Coast and Newcastle will be meeting with the Premier Dominic Perrottet.