Mayor Steve Christou’s Weekly Message

An insight into what's happening around our local community.

16 July 2021

Business support on its way

Our economy cannot continue this way, let alone flourish. It’s a kick in the teeth to communities who have only just recovered from last year’s lock down. The impact on small businesses and families is even more evident in western Sydney. Businesses will not survive this latest shut down.

We’re doing all that we can to alleviate the pressure of small business pain. Council is suspending all unpaid outdoor dining and goods on display application and licence fees until 31 December. We’ll be implementing rent deferral and relief arrangements and refunding all cancelled casual hire bookings for council sporting venues or facilities. I am also writing to the relevant state and federal ministers seeking financial and other hardship support for local businesses. Let’s end the lock downs and start digging our way out of the economic hole that we’re in.

We are here for our residents and our local businesses, and I encourage all affected by COVID-19 to contact us or visit our dedicated web page to see how our services have been impacted. We’ve proven we’re a strong and resilient community and we will come through this again as we did before.

I’ll do everything I can and muster whatever council resources are necessary to ensure that we can move through this and allow businesses to reopen. Businesses, particularly small family business, supports livelihoods so it’s critically important to get this outbreak under control so they can reopen.

Mayor Steve Christou at a previous meet and greet with business owners in Cumberland City.

Western Sydney takes the brunt

The announcement last week that 100 extra police would patrol western Sydney is heavy handed and extreme. It wasn’t something put in place for the eastern suburbs. It’s criminalising what is a health issue.

Only this week we have seen mass crowds congregating around Bondi in stark contrast to government directions - yet there are no mounted police deployed to that area. There should be a health response, not a policing response, particularly in western Sydney where there’s a vulnerable population. It’s a low socio-economic area where English is often a second, third or fourth language. It demonstrates the bias towards the eastern suburbs. This whole process is condescending and a patronising approach to western Sydney.

Western Sydney needs leadership from the NSW state government which advocates and advances the interests of our community. While Sydney and its residents endure lockdown after lockdown, and extreme financial hardship, our state MPs continue to receive their very generous salaries and entitlements, whilst the residents of Western Sydney remain vulnerable, suffering and without a clear path. At the very least there needs to be strong local leadership and advocacy for our community. Cumberland City Council will always continue to provide this leadership, because it is our belief local leadership promotes the interests of our community. At the very minimum you deserve that level of service.

Mayor Steve Christou regularly advocates for better services in Western Sydney.

Spread the word not the virus

The acceleration in cases in western Sydney is alarming, but we’re doing everything we can to support our community and NSW Health to get it under control. We’ve worked quickly to offer locations for new testing clinics to support NSW Health to rein in this outbreak. We are also providing infrastructure and support for NSW Health to assist with the roll out of the vaccine across our community.

The vaccination roll out needs to be ramped up and council is in a good place to make that happen. Cumberland City Council, and many other councils, have a long history of delivering front line services, including flu shots, and other vaccinations recommended by NSW Health.

Cumberland City Council looks forward to continuing our strong working relationship with NSW Health in a effort to put your interests first and to continue to get our community out of this lock down nightmare.

Mayor Steve Christou receives his vaccination at The Holroyd Centre

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Mayoral Minute Podcast

Hear a quick run down of what happened at the Cumberland City Council meeting, including hot topics that could impact you.