Civic leaders made impassioned pleas to Deputy Premier John Barilaro to consider easing lockdown restrictions in Narrabri Shire before a decision was handed down late last Thursday morning.

Narrabri Shire Council mayor Ron Campbell sent a letter to Mr Barilaro on Tuesday describing the case for lifting a stay-at-home order for the shire as extremely strong.

In his letter, Cr Campbell detailed the community’s previous success in not having a COVID case until the eve of the easing of lockdown restrictions with a positive detection in Narrabri.

“Narrabri Shire not being subject to the lessening of the ‘stay at home’ restrictions came as an enormous blow to the Narrabri Shire community,” Cr Campbell’s letter reads.

“Nonetheless, the community understood – given the circumstance- the reasons behind the ‘stay at home’ restrictions remaining in place – until the reported COVID case was thoroughly investigated, contained and any threat from the virus was eradicated.”

Cr Campbell went on to say that the shire community continues to take its responsibilities toward COVID very seriously.

Calls for the shire to emerge from lockdown were also supported by Inspector Robert Dunn.

State Member for Barwon Roy Butler also sent correspondence to the state government last week, similarly requesting a review of lockdown restrictions for Narrabri Shire as well as other local government areas in his electorate.

Mr Butler said he had also contacted the Deputy Premier early in the week.

“While I have agreed previously that it is necessary to place lockdowns on regions with cases, keeping a community under lockdown when there are no cases is in my opinion unjustifiable,” Mr Butler says in his letter.

“These lockdowns are having a devastating effect on local businesses and people’s livelihoods.”

By Wednesday night, it had appeared that the civic leaders’ pleas for an easing of restrictions had been heard after Nationals member of the Upper House, Sam Farraway, confirmed that Narrabri was one of several council areas under review to have its lockdown lifted.

“We have been working hard over the past two days on reviewing the current LGAs in lockdown across the Central West and Western NSW,” Mr Farraway said.

During the Thursday morning pandemic update, the good news that Narrabri Shire would leave lockdown was announced by Mr Barilaro.

Mr Barilaro has urged people to enjoy their freedoms in a COVID-safe and responsible way.

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