MidCoast residents escape lockdown after late deputy premier call

By Max McKinney
Tea Gardens is in the MidCoast local government area but state electorate of Port Stephens.

ONE side of the Port Stephens shoreline is out of lockdown while the other remains under stay-at-home orders.

The Mid Coast local government area, which includes Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens, is no longer in lockdown after the deputy premier announced that restrictions would be lifted overnight.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro posted on Twitter at 8.34pm saying MidCoast would exit lockdown at midnight in line with dozens of other LGAs across NSW.

"Following community consultation I requested NSW Health review the decision to continue stay-at-home orders in the MidCoast LGA," he said.

"It has been decided MidCoast LGA will now emerge from lockdown at midnight tonight."

State Labor MP Kate Washington, whose Port Stephens electorate takes in the southern end of the MidCoast LGA, said she was "astounded" by how the decision was announced.

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"This week, the Deputy Premier said at the 11am press conference that the mid north coast was coming out of lockdown. So the MidCoast Council communities were completely confused to learn later that their lockdown wasnt lifting," she said in a Facebook posted on Friday night.

"Now tonight, via Twitter, its announced that their lockdown is lifting. At midnight. Tonight.

"I'm delighted for residents of Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Pindimar, Bundabah, Limeburners Creek, North Arm Cove and Karuah (north of the bridge).

"But I'm astounded by the chaotic way these decisions are being made and delivered."

The state government announced which regions would be coming out of lockdown on Thursday.

Only one case of coronavirus was recorded in the MidCoast LGA in the past four weeks.

Stay-at-home orders remain in place in the Central Coast, Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter LGAs.


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