In a fiery attack on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Angela Vithoulkas, who is a City of Sydney councillor, begged the Premier to “stand up and manage this” instead of “continuously letting the virus in, and then telling people to mask up and lock down”.
Ms Vithoulkas questioned why the Premier “keeps on having daily press conferences to praise people and report virus numbers”, instead of “preventing … virus risks crossing our borders”.
“We know how it gets in,” Ms Vithoulkas said, “on planes, on boats, and via foreign flight crews.
“Why isn’t anyone saying, ‘this is Australia, here are our rules’, there’s a funnel you have to go through, a system.”
Her comments come as NSW announced a raft of tough new restrictions after 44 new cases were confirmed overnight, the highest number in the current outbreak so far.
“How many times does (an outbreak) have to happen and threaten our local economy before we put in the restrictions or measures for safety that are required?”
A spokeperson for the NSW Premier said Ms Berejiklian declined to comment on Ms Vithoulkas’ remarks.
Amid fears the current lockdown may extend further than the end of next week, Ms Vithoulkas said she was fired up after seeing businesses go to the wall. She described the Sydney CBD as “a ghost town”.
‘What’s the plan Gladys?’: Councillor and former cafe owner Angela Vithoulkas says politicians have failed Australia in managing Covid. Picture: Joel Carrett.
Ms Vithoulkas, a City of Sydney councillor for the Sydney Business Party, said she was seeing levels of “generational debt that will be borne by individuals and families for the next 20 years”.
Many “will never recover”, she said, “shops are open but they might as well be closed … people are saying why bother?”
“We have never dealt with Covid in Australia except to build a fortress and lower or raise the drawbridge.
“We have locked people out and locked people in but governments have never actually properly dealt with the … the virus getting in, on plane and boats.”
She said all tiers of government “including councils have their heads buried in the sand” and instead “seemed to deal with political footballs rather than limiting the health risks”.
“None of us are asking for eradication, we are asking for management,” she said.
“I know it’s easy outside of the circle to point fingers and say you are not doing enough, but there’s no plan.