Now that the dust has settled on the fantastic news from the NSW Deputy Premier last week, I thought I’d share with you how our community achieved this wonderful result.

As you know, I reached out to Sam Farraway MLC shortly after the disappointment that Narrabri Shire was to remain under lockdown restrictions and as we communicated to you, he advised us through the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, what we needed to do; have no more COVID cases, no detection in our sewage testing and our vaccination rates needed to continue to increase – as you all know we achieved this!

I kept in constant contact with Sam from that point, touching base and advising of any change here in Narrabri Shire.

He was in turn communicating our situation on the ground here directly to the Deputy Premier.

Sam reached out to me late last Tuesday evening and advised that council now needed to prepare a ‘case for release’ to be presented to the crisis cabinet meeting the following morning (Wednesday, September 15, 2021).

The case needed to have NSW Police support and also input from HNE Health – if we were to have any chance in getting the crisis cabinet to agree to lift our lockdown.

Council staff worked well into the night to prepare our case for release as I urgently reached out to NSW Police and HNE Health for their input and support into the development our case for release.

The ‘case for release’ council was able to prepare was an extremely strong and comprehensive one, it contained a full timeline of events, up to date accurate information regarding vaccine percentages, an honest and truthful account of the circumstances here in the shire, it contained input from HNE Health and critically had the full support of the NSW Police for the shire’s release from lockdown.

With the case prepared, council provided it directly to Sam Farraway and the Deputy Premier who then took our case into the crisis cabinet meeting last Wednesday … and the rest is history!

I want to extend a special thanks to the council staff who jumped straight in and spent countless hours into the night last Tuesday evening preparing our case for release, a huge thank you as well to Inspector Robert Dunn who responded to my urgent calls and requests for NSW Police feedback.

With your cooperation and adherence to what was required of us due to COVID, we are now enjoying some freedoms that we have all recently missed so much!

Now please enjoy yourselves, don’t be complacent and please be mindful that businesses still have some restrictions.

Remember to be patient and let’s get out there and continue to support our local businesses!

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