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Online Newcastle check-in petition gaining ground

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An online petition calling for the continued use of mandatory QR code check-ins is gaining traction in Newcastle.

The appeal, entitled Keep check-in mandatory until it is safe, is being hosted by change.org and shared via social media.

Launched online on Wednesday 16 December, the petition’s organiser had hoped to attract 1,500 signatures to then pass on to state MP Tim Crakanthorp, federal member Sharon Claydon and the City of Newcastle for action.

Within hours, it had secured more than 1,200.

“Newcastle has recently been hit by a strong wave of Omicron cases, however the government is still going ahead with the removal of the check-in, vaccination and mask mandates,” the petition states.

“Our safety as a community is being compromised by removing check-ins as we now will not be able to track the extreme number of cases ravaging through our beautiful city of Newcastle.

“By signing this petition you support the continued use of check-in and contact tracing via Service NSW to allow early notice of danger to yourself and others if you were in contact with a COVID-19 case or unknowingly had the coronavirus and were in contact with others in the community.

“The higher government seems to be ignorant of the urgency of the situation our community is in and while it may be safe to remove these mandates in other councils and local government areas, it will be extremely harmful and [harder] on our area with the lack of contract tracing.”

The organiser, who asked to remain anonymous, said the motivation for the petition began after failing to find a QR code to check-in at a shopping centre.

“This happened around the same time as a state press conference in which Premier Dominic Perrottet and Brad Hazzard dismissed concerns over the public’s safety,” they explained.

“Especially in light of the Newcastle superspreader outbreak.

“I don’t know what the next step is, it was kind of on a whim because I was so angry and scared.”

The petition can be found at www.change.org.au

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