Several councillors have called on the state government to treat Orange differently to Sydney when deciding how long the city will stay in COVID lockdown.
They said Orange businesses and families were suffering from the length of the lockdown.
Deputy mayor Cr Glenn Taylor and mayor Cr Reg Kidd said they disagreed with comments by deputy premier John Barilaro this week who said Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo "will be tied and locked in to what happens in Sydney until the 70 per cent double dose target is reached."
Why now is he lumping us with Sydney?Cr Glenn Taylor, deputy mayor
Cr Taylor said while Sydney was recording more than 1000 COVID cases a day Orange had recorded only three cases this week.
"I think he, John Barilaro, needs to produce the health evidence to back it up," he said.
"Why now is he lumping us with Sydney?"
He said vaccination rates in Orange were "going through the roof" and cases in the city were largely from people coming to Orange.
"It's not our fault those six blokes travelled up here," he said referring to six Sydney workers who tested positive for COVID in Orange last month.
"I'm getting two to three calls a day from business people who are at the end of their tether. They are seeing their life's work trickle away. They are having to use their life savings," he said.
Cr Taylor, who has stood for the ALP in elections in Orange, said he was concerned the government was playing politics. "I can smell politics, this is politics. It's punishing the people of Orange for not voting National," he said.
Cr Taylor said he did not believe Orange should stay in lockdown until the vaccination target was reached.
"I think we need to get out of lockdown," he said.
Cr Kidd told this week's council meeting he had complained to the deputy premier's office.
"I don't think we should be compared to the suburbs of Sydney that they are actually talking about. I sent an email to the deputy premier's office saying that I thought that was offensive, comparing us to Sydney," he said.
Cr Kidd said he wanted the government to provide more information on COVID, including indicating the number of people who had recovered from COVID in Orange, and were no longer active cases.
Cr Kevin Duffy said the community was suffering from the lockdown.
"I know people in this town that at this very moment are suffering, losing their businesses," he said.
"We are suffering, our community is suffering.
"I couldn't even take my family up to the cemetery on Father's Day. Other people couldn't visit their family on Father's Day."
Councillors agreed to support a motion by Cr Jeff Whitton for the council to continue to promote the benefits of vaccination and seek more information.
It would also campaign "to show the rest of NSW and Australia that Orange is serious about managing the COVID challenge."
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