RAISING THE BARR | Sport is back; please take care, follow the rules and stay COVID-safe

Sport is back; please take care and stay COVID-safe

There are mixed views about whether or not we should be returning to sport while still in the middle of COVID-19.

I will leave it you to make your own judgments.

But can I just urge everyone to please follow all of the rules, codes and policies that are being put into place at the various sporting venues.

Sport in 2020 is not business as usual.

Indeed, sport in 2021 won't be business as usual either.

All of the care and caution being taken around our sports over the coming months is 100 per cent about the safety of each of us.

I know that it is going to be incredibly hard for parents and grandparents who are going to be prevented from watching their loved ones play their sport.


These past couple of weekends have seen an absolute boom in tourism.

It's fantastic for all of the local businesses and also for the people employed to work in the tourism sector. Fingers crossed this will be a long and safe return to activity in our area.

Meanwhile, with some state borders closed, it is an absolutely brilliant chance to see parts of NSW that you might not have seen before.

If I could offer one tip - head out to the far west and north-west of NSW. Breathe in the vast expanse of our land. Find a river and go camping, or fishing, or just laze about and read a book. Visit a local pub or café. Learn about our history and development of these far west areas both before and after European settlement.

For example, visit the fish traps at Brewarrina that are almost certainly the oldest man-made structures on the entire planet - probably 50,000 years older than the water schemes of Rome or the pyramids of Egypt. Take a tour of the fish traps with a local Indigenous organisation and find out just how clever this structure was in providing a guaranteed food supply long before supermarkets and electricity existed.


I find it incredibly hard to not shake someone's hand when I greet them.

I feel rude when I refuse. I also feel embarrassed and disappointed.

As humans, right across the globe, it seems that almost every culture had some form of greeting that involved physical touch as a signal to say "we are at peace with each other".

At the moment I do fear that a bit of COVID-19 complacency might see us revert back to old habits.

Can I please urge this simple message - DO NOT BE COMPLACENT.

For Exhibit A of what complacency can bring, check out the situation in poor old Victoria.

Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Avoid touch.

And isolate if you recognise even mild cold/flu symptoms and get tested.


For inquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office by phoning (02) 4991 1466, by email to or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter or check out my website,

  • Clayton Barr is the State Member for Cessnock.