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Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone says Covid 5km bubble can be breached for KFC

The mayor of Fairfield in Sydney’s Covid-hit southwest encouraged a constituent to leave her 5km bubble to buy KFC, telling critics the woman is at ‘no greater risk’ than if she chose to buy take out closer to home.

Frank Carbone has been an outspoken critic of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s approach to lockdown, claiming that there are clear double standards between the treatment of residents in the southwest and those in Sydney’s east.

Residents in eight local government areas in Sydney’s west and southwest are under particularly strict lockdown orders preventing them from travelling more than 5km from home or leaving their suburbs for non-essential purposes. 

But when a woman queried about travelling further than that distance to buy KFC chicken, Mr Carbone was quick to tell her it was okay to bend the rules.

The mayor of Fairfield in Sydney’s Covid-hit southwest has encouraged a constituent to leave her 5km bubble to buy KFC, telling critics the woman is at ‘no greater risk’ than if she chose to buy take out closer to home

Frank Carbone has been an outspoken critic of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's approach to lockdown, claiming that there are clear double standards

Frank Carbone has been an outspoken critic of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s approach to lockdown, claiming that there are clear double standards

He shut down any complaints or responses designed to make the woman feel guilty, urging his community to stick together instead of criticise one another.

‘We are doing it hard enough and going without, without turning on each other,’ he said. 

‘We can’t go out, we can’t do anything… if she wants KFC, let her have her chicken.

‘It’s not the most important thing in life and certainly not the healthiest, but we don’t need to stop living if that is what makes us happy and it’s safe.’

Mr Carbone urged constituents ‘not to be politicians and lawyers,’ and instead to ‘be people with common sense’.  

He later clarified that if the woman deemed a trip to KFC essential, she would not be breaking any orders by driving to the restaurant and using the drive-thru facility.

Government guidelines state a person can travel outside of the 5km bubble if an essential service - like groceries - is not available within the radius. Pictured: Police conducting compliance checks

Government guidelines state a person can travel outside of the 5km bubble if an essential service – like groceries – is not available within the radius. Pictured: Police conducting compliance checks 

Government guidelines state a person can travel outside of the 5km bubble if an essential service – like groceries – is not available within the radius.

There is no specification as to whether take out food is considered essential.

‘Driving 5.3km in her own car to a drive through KFC has no greater risk than driving 4.5km to a McDonald’s store or a supermarket,’ Mr Carbone said. 

He argued that the woman is posing no greater risk than if she’d entered a supermarket to buy chicken off the shelf.

Mr Carbone, who has been Fairfield mayor since 2016, went on to remind locals that they are displaying greater compliance than in other areas of Sydney.

‘Thousands of people on the other side of the City pretend they are Covid free and breach every rule,’ he said.

Mr Carbone, who has been Fairfield mayor since 2016, went on to remind locals that they are displaying greater compliance than in other areas of Sydney

Mr Carbone, who has been Fairfield mayor since 2016, went on to remind locals that they are displaying greater compliance than in other areas of Sydney

Pictured: Mr Carbone

Pictured: Mr Carbone 

’99 percent of people are making a big sacrifice in our city, which I can tell you is a lot higher compliance of what is happening anywhere else.’  

Mr Carbone was applauded for his measured response to the question, with many taking the opportunity to thank him for ‘standing up for the community’ to state leaders. 

But others argued he was setting a bad example.

‘This is your advice? We are in the middle of a health disaster and you’re suggesting travelling outside the lockdown to get kfc because it might be essential… This is most unhelpful,’ one man wrote.

‘You just gave a green light to anyone who listens to you that fried chicken might be essential and a reason to get out of lockdown. It’s been 34 days of Sydney lockdown. And the hardest hit LGA is ours. You need to be better.’

Since stricter measures were imposed on Sydney’s southwest, Mr Carbone has repeatedly highlighted the essential work performed by his constituents.

‘If you don’t allow people from Fairfield, Liverpool and Bankstown to go to work then supermarkets all around Sydney will be closing down,’ he previously explained.

‘You need drivers, you need logistics. A lot of these people come from Western Sydney. We are the engine room.’

On Monday, New South Wales recorded a further 207 community cases of coronavirus, and 83 of the new infections were found in the southwest.

A further 53 cases were from the west and 48 were identified in the central Sydney local health district.  

Since stricter measures were imposed on regions in Sydney's southwest, Mr Carbone has repeatedly highlighted the essential work performed by many people who hail from his area

Since stricter measures were imposed on regions in Sydney’s southwest, Mr Carbone has repeatedly highlighted the essential work performed by many people who hail from his area

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