Last week, I fought to ensure that the workers and businesses of Cowper received a fair go from the NSW Government in relation to the upcoming 70 per cent vaccination rate and subsequent re-opening plan for the state.
I rallied my federal counterparts throughout NSW to sign a letter of concern to the then Premier and Deputy Premier of NSW.
My letter outlined the inconvenient fact that rather than October 11 heralding a Freedom Day, it would in reality mean the exact opposite for many businesses across regional NSW.
While metropolitan Sydney's vaccination rates surged as a result of the much needed additional vaccine allocation in response to their significant outbreaks, the rates in the regions lagged.
We did our bit, we played the team game and understood that our doses were being redirected to the more urgent areas of need.
As soon as they became available to us, our community turned out in droves, driving our first dose rates to the fantastic levels we saw this week.
For regional businesses to then be disadvantaged because their staff haven't yet had their second jab by October 11, was simply not fair.
Local businesses that have struggled in the face of reduced tourism and patronage based on the metropolitan outbreaks were now facing the very real potential of not having staff able to work as the state reopened, through no fault of their own.
Local businesses could not possibly have prevented or planned for the reality they were now faced with.
I'm proud to say that as a result, the rules have been adjusted for our region.
Rather than requiring a double dose status, staff across regional NSW are now required only to have received a first dose with a second jab booked.
While the new rules are not perfect, they are a vast improvement on what our region was initially faced with.
I will continue to speak out for and represent the best interests of our region, to the best of my ability.