Country NSW has long suffered inequity of services, support and funding from a city-centric NSW Government, which has, seemingly, always demonstrated a bias in favour of for the City.
Indeed, it's this pattern of biased leadership which has colloquially branded NSW as Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.
Country folk are still also considered a poor cousin to the folks living in the city. Sadly, this apparently remains to be the case, which has been reinforced when both the Premier and Deputy Premier announced on Wednesday this week that they would but the decision to redirect allocated COVID-19 vaccines from Regional NSW to vaccinate a demographic in certain areas of metropolitan Sydney.
I'm sympathetic to the communities in the COVID-affected LGAs in Sydney, as no doubt most country folk would be.
There is a high demand for Pfizer vaccine across the entire state, not just in Sydney.
The Premier prematurely thanked Regional NSW for directing their supplies of Pfizer to vaccinate Year 12 school students in eight specified Sydney Local Government Areas.
Whilst those students need to be vaccinated, so do the good folk of Regional NSW.
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I've been informed that many frontline health and emergency service workers here in the Orange electorate, and broader country NSW, are still waiting to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
There are also many elderly, frail, infirm and vulnerable people here in the country who still need to be vaccinated.
As we've recently witnessed, Orange is not immune from the COVID-19 virus penetrating our community.
The communities of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney have just had a close call, and is an awakening for the need to vaccinate and protect all citizens across our state - equally!
Country folk are reasonable and fair-minded people. We are also traditionally generous, thoughtful and considerate by nature.
Be that as it may, I'm unreservedly and unashamedly biased for the bush, because it's my family's home and I was elected to represent people here in the bush.
Our limited Pfizer supplies are still needed out here where many people await their first dose, just as they need them in Sydney.
The Premier and her Deputy need to work on accessing additional vaccines for the entire State, and not pilfer existing regional vaccine supplies for the City.
It's decisions such as these that expose the view of this Government that country people matter less than people of the city.
I will be sponsoring an ePetition which protests the Premier and Deputy Premier's inequitable decision.
I would invite you to support this petition and express your view to the NSW Government.
The petition, titled "Equitable distribution of and access to COVID-19 vaccines for the communities of Regional NSW", can be viewed and electronically signed by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/2Vidmho
Member for Orange, Phil Donato
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