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New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has admitted his government has no idea which of Sydney’s lockdown restrictions are working during an on-air grilling from Karl Stefanovic.

Mr Barilaro on Thursday morning defended the decision to lock down Australia’s largest city for another four weeks after the first five weeks of stay-at-home orders did nothing to stop the spread of the highly-contagious Delta Covid-19 strain. 

NSW recorded another 177 cases on Wednesday as authorities extended Greater Sydney’s lockdown and banned non-essential workers from leaving three more government areas in Sydney’s west and south-west.

‘Let’s see what happens over the next four weeks,’ he told the Today show co-host when asked what would happen if the extended restrictions also failed to lower transmission in the city. 

‘I have no crystal ball to tell you what we do next.’

‘Sorry to put this to you, but I think you just said you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. Is that what you said?’ Stefanovic responded.

The map indicates the eight local government areas where Covid-19 is transmitting the most rapidly

The map indicates the eight local government areas where Covid-19 is transmitting the most rapidly

The map indicates the eight local government areas where Covid-19 is transmitting the most rapidly

Mr Barilaro replied that there was ‘no playbook’ to getting Sydney out of lockdown. 

‘We are throwing everything at it,’ he said.

‘What we’ve seen are stubborn numbers so [I can’t] sit here and say I know how to get this under control. It’s still testing the government and its resources.’

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday confirmed restrictions would remain in effect until at least August 28 before NSW Health listed another 104 new exposure sites, including busy supermarkets, shopping centres and chemists.  

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro admitted his government has no idea which of Sydney's lockdown restrictions are working and which are not on Thursday morning

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro admitted his government has no idea which of Sydney's lockdown restrictions are working and which are not on Thursday morning

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro admitted his government has no idea which of Sydney’s lockdown restrictions are working and which are not on Thursday morning

Mr Barilaro said the state government was relying on its experience handling earlier Covid-19 outbreaks during the pandemic to quash the spread of the Delta variant.

‘The public should have confidence in us because what we have done in the past,’ he said.

‘But we are not going to pretend that we have every answer because we don’t.’ 

He said increasing vaccination rates in NSW was key to bringing the state out of the pandemic and ending lockdowns for good.

‘If we can get vaccination up to 60 to 70 per cent of the population, you can see globally that it has allowed freedoms,’ Mr Barilaro said.

‘It’s the only way that we are never going to go back into lockdown.’ 

Eight local government areas in the city’s west and south-west are now under tougher restrictions than the rest of the city – Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River.  

Only authorised workers in those LGAs whose jobs are deemed essential by the NSW government are allowed to leave their area for work.

A pedestrian wearing a face mask passes a construction site in the Sydney CBD. NSW recorded another 177 cases on Wednesday as authorities extended Greater Sydney's lockdown for four more weeks

A pedestrian wearing a face mask passes a construction site in the Sydney CBD. NSW recorded another 177 cases on Wednesday as authorities extended Greater Sydney's lockdown for four more weeks

A pedestrian wearing a face mask passes a construction site in the Sydney CBD. NSW recorded another 177 cases on Wednesday as authorities extended Greater Sydney’s lockdown for four more weeks

Wednesday's increase in cases is the largest in Sydney's latest outbreak and the highest daily rise since April 2020

Wednesday's increase in cases is the largest in Sydney's latest outbreak and the highest daily rise since April 2020

Wednesday’s increase in cases is the largest in Sydney’s latest outbreak and the highest daily rise since April 2020

Cumberland’s mayor Steve Christou said the nearly two million people living in those areas are ‘at the point of no return’ because of the debilitating restrictions. 

‘I’ve heard from many in the community that they are struggling to pay rent, mortgages and other bills,’ he said on 9News.

‘It’s devastating that the many businesses that support families will not re-open.    

‘The construction ban continues on our local government area – obstructing people from making a living. For many, it’s Armageddon.’

Source: Daily Mail

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