It is hard to fathom given the past few months of devastating bushfires and a virus pandemic that consideration would be given to cutting the wages of our frontline responders.
However, that's exactly what we're seeing this week with the NSW government announcing a wage freeze for the public service - affecting nurses, teachers, firefighters and police among others.
On top of that, a document leaked to the BDN outlines cuts to the South East Regional Hospital amid a health district restructure looking to rein in costs. It's proposed 34 jobs need to go.
Does anyone else find that odd given the past couple of years since the SERH's opening have been peppered with articles outlining staff shortages at the top-class facility?
It's also odd in light of comments by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday morning that the "NSW government is all about job creation", comments made while defending her wage freeze as a more palatable alternative to job cuts.
"The alternative is worse that what we're proposing. Something has to give," she said.
The wage freeze is not so much a 'cut' as a holding back on the annual pay rise public servants would expect to enjoy, normally about 2.5 per cent a year to help keep up with cost of living increases.
But according to Arthur Rorris, secretary of the South Coast Labour Council, that equates to removing 2.5 per cent out of the economy, which hits particularly hard in bushfire-affected regions trying to re-energise local business.
"It's easy to see that if you reduce the amount of money in people's pockets, you can't rebuild businesses looking for customers spending," Rorris said.
"What kind of a bushfire stimulus is this when you give with one hand and take away with the other - it's counter-intuitive."
What's even more galling is that these nurses, firies, police and teachers have been at the forefront of our response and recovery in recent months, earning high - and deserved - praise from all corners. Not to mention that some of their bosses have recently enjoyed significant pay rises that haven't received as much praise from the community.
It's hard to argue with Rorris when he says this wage freeze - if approved by the Upper House, which is far from guaranteed - is unfair and ineffective policy, which will work against the rebuilding of our region.