Today, those in regional communities across New South Wales would have heard the news that we have to remain in lockdown until 10 September, on the back of over a thousand cases announced today—news that I think we knew was coming but which we hoped wouldn't happen. Some of us have never seen a positive case of COVID-19 in our communities, for some it will be more than a year since they last saw a positive case, and for others it comes on the back of positive sewerage samples in their communities.
I've spoken before in this chamber—although this is the first week that I've had to do so virtually—about the compounding impact of disasters on the Eden-Monaro region. We've had 28 declared natural disasters and now, effectively, four border closures. I implore leaders not to give analogies about this pandemic that compare it to bushfires. It is nothing like a bushfire and it hurts people directly impacted by it to call it one. It is another disaster, that's for sure, and for some it will have dire consequences, but it is a disaster in its own right.
The hard part for so many of our communities is that this pandemic is keeping people apart when they should be coming together to support each other from other disasters. That's what they want and that's what they deserve. For all the families at the moment doing the learning-from-home juggle while trying to work, I know it's hard. You can get through this, and we can get through it together, and on the other side we will be stronger.