Deputy Leader of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Philip Donato MP today, Wednesday 20th May 2020, welcomed the Premier’s about-face on regional travel with the announcement that there will be a relaxation of travel restrictions commencing June 1st, though the horse needs to be placed in front of the cart instead of behind.

“I’m pleased the Premier has finally paid attention to what the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party have been calling for, and that is to allow regional travel, where supported by a capable and accessible healthcare nework, to re-ignite the struggling regional economy,” said Mr Donato. 

Commencing June 1st NSW Public Health Order restrictions surrounding intrastate holiday travel will be removed and allow travel into the regions, by visitors from NSW and interstate, in an effort to save NSW regional tourism and get the regional economy into motion once again.

“The economies of our country communities have suffered brutally, with the devastating drought, unprecedented bushfires and now the pandemic. More than ever before, it’s essential to get people to visit the regions and inject much-needed cash to get local business going and return locals to employment.

“Unfortunately, this is a classic case of the Berejiklian Barilaro Government having the cart before the horse, though. To facilitate the visitors we need our country pubs and clubs open to cater for arriving visitors. We also need adequate healthcare services to provide our currently COVID-free country communities with the resources to quell their concerns and support the economic rebuild.

“Under the Premier’s currently heavy-handed restriction of just 10 patrons at any one time in our pubs and clubs, how will our visitors be able to sit down for meals and enjoy the local culture and atmosphere which draws them here?

“The Premier has mooted that the restriction will be lifted to 20 patrons, but many pubs and clubs cannot afford to operate on such limited numbers, it just isn’t viable. Out here in the regions we have been relatively COVID-clear, and would make far more sense to allow each venue to use discretion in the numbers of patrons they can safely cater for rather than plucking a number out of thin air, as the Government is doing now.

“Gladys needs to get her head screwed on, because all along it’s been ok with the Premier to turn a blind-eye to hardware stores being packed with people swarming the aisles, shoulder-to-shoulder, getting their home reno supplies, but she has a problem allowing the licensees and managers of pubs and clubs managing social distancing in their own venues, many of which can safely cater for dozens of patrons at any one time.

“It seems that the nails are more important than ales to the Liberal National Government, and if the Premier serious about rebuilding the economy I would urge her to remove the restriction on the numbers of patrons in our country pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and cellar doors, and instead allow patronage to be safely managed by staff for social distancing, to facilitate tourist visitation and kick-start our country economy.” Mr Donato said.