Community sport may have come to a standstill along with our major inter-town winter football competitions due to COVID-19 but our community still has a chance to come top of the table and win a vaccination rate challenge.
To boost vaccination rates across the Hunter and New England regions a challenge has been issued to see which Local Government Area which reach the magic figure of 70 per cent fully vaccinated first.
Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore has rolled up her sleeve and accepted the challenge from Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Maurice Collison to other mayors throughout the Hunter and New England region to get their communities vaccinated.
Cr Moore has joined with Cr Collison as well as Mayor of Dungog Shire Cr John Conners, Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Cr Douglas Hawkins, Mayor of Mid Coast Council Cr David West and Mayor of Muswellbrook Shire Cr Rod Scholes to see which region is the first to reach a 70% double dose vaccination rate for ages 15 and up.
Each mayor will wager $200, with the winning Mayor to donate the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
Cr Moore said in addition to the benefits of vaccination, winning the challenge would help the community through the donation of the prize pool to a local charity and of course, deliver all-important bragging rights.
"Singleton does not shy away from a challenge and I hope as many of my fellow residents as possible will join with me to roll up their sleeve, get vaccinated and take on our neighbouring LGAs," she said.
"It's welcome news for our residents and businesses that we were released from lockdown last week, but we still have to be vigilant to protect ourselves, each other and our community from the spread of COVID-19.
"The NSW Government has made it clear that getting vaccinated is the best way we can help stop the spread of the virus and get back to doing the things we love.
"I'm happy to support my fellow mayors in encouraging our communities to get vaccinated, and while I'd love to see Singleton hit 70 per cent first, there are really no losers if we all do our part to help NSW hit its vaccination target sooner rather than later."
Cr Moore acknowledged residents' concerns about difficulties accessing the vaccine.
"I understand there are people in our community who have experienced difficulties accessing a vaccine or making an appointment. I have raised this issue with the Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell MP, and am strongly advocating for more supplies to be made available in Singleton," she said.
"Our Local Emergency Management Committee is planning another vaccine hub at Singleton Civic Centre on 3 October 2021, and I encourage everyone not to give up, and to keep trying to get both your first and second jabs."
You can make a vaccination booking via Where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccination in NSW | NSW Government
For the latest information, visit nsw.gov.au or contact the National COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.