Is it time for a lockdown? Local pollies split over call
LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is advocating for a complete lockdown, similar to what has been implemented in the United Kingdom.
"It's time for a lockdown," Ms Saffin said.
"It sends a clear message to people."
She said current regulations created confusion, and social distancing rules were not always being followed.
Ms Saffin said she was confident Premier Gladys Berejiklian would implement stricter measures in NSW if national rules were not tightened after the cabinet meeting today - while keeping pharmacies and supermarkets open.
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Meanwhile, Ballina MP Tamara Smith agreed the public was confused, but did not agree with calls to lockdown the state.
"It's become very, very messy, there are a lot of opinions in the public domain," Ms Smith said.
"I don't know more than the chief health experts.
"One of the things that is a comfort to most people in our community is that public health officials are the ones giving advice to politicians, it's not the role of politicians to second guess them.
"I get why people are saying let's go hard and fast now. I just hope to God we get it right."
Page MP Kevin Hogan said the federal government was following the lead of medical experts.
"We are taking the advice of the chief medical officer and health experts on his panel and following his advice to the letter, that's how we should continue to make our decisions," Mr Hogan said.
Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland questioned the effectiveness of a total lockdown.
"Who's going to enforce it, will it be the police or the defence force?" Ms Mulholland said.
"If you're taking police away from their normal duties then who's pursuing other crimes?
"If we do involve the armed forces, what message is that sending to the general public?"
"Would a lockdown actually trigger more extreme anti-social behaviours like the behaviours we've been seeing since the pandemic was declared?"
Ballina mayor David Wright agreed it would be hard to enforce, and said most people were social distancing in Ballina.
"I can't see anything wrong with people going for a walk in the open air," he said.
"I personally feel schools should shut, public schools aren't the cleanest places.
"But you're not going to keep people off our beaches."
Richmond Valley mayor Richard Mustow has warmed to the idea of a lockdown.
"If it's proven in other countries a full lockdown has been successful, then it needs to implemented here," he said.
"The sooner the peak in cases goes down, the sooner we go into rebuild mode."
Lismore mayor Isaac Smith stood behind the experts.
"I believe we should follow the advice from the government and health experts," he said.
"At this point they are saying a lockdown in our area is not necessary, so I support that decision."
Byron mayor Simon Richardson was also contacted for comment.