Premier Under Fire Over Minister Harwin

Filed in Recent News by April 9, 2020

THE Premier faced many questions from the media this morning on why Minister Don Harwin had been staying at Pearl Beach for three weeks and not at his home in Sydney.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Minister Harwin had told her he had gone to Pearl Beach three weeks ago prior to the rules being changed and expressed her disappointment at the perception.

The media challenged the Premier on why Minister Harwin was not being sacked and the double standards for the Minister not adhering to social distancing when she had been stressing to the rest of the state the importance of not moving, not travelling for Easter and not relocating to regional or coastal areas.

The Premier said police would investigate and if appropriate would issue a $1,000 fine.

Health Briefing

  • 39 new cases – lowest since March 16
  • 3,906 people were tested yesterday – 32% increase
  • 21 deaths – no increase
  • 221 people being treated
  • 31 patients in ICU
  • 21 patients are ventilated
  • 36 return travellers have tested positive

Dr Chant, chief medical officer said “every day people are coming off ventilators” they typically then stay in ICU for a few days, before being transferred to the ward and discharged.

Dr Chant stressed the importance of the supportive care being available for patients who do become critically unwell from the virus and the importance of the state increasing their ICU capacity.

Childcare Announcement

The NSW state government announced $130 million to ensure preschool is free for six months and local government long day care staff wages are supplemented. The Premier explained they would match the federal government funding for local government operating long day cares so that local government childcare staff wages are covered.

Before and after school care are receiving funding from the federal government.

Police Update

  • The captain of the Ruby Princess has been interviewed by police
  • There are more than 1,000 crew members still on board the ship
  • Three-quarters of the crew want to remain on the shop
  • The local community have been dropping care packages to the boat
  • Police have been going through caravan parks and from Friday onwards will be issuing tickets for people breaching the rules
  • There have been more than 5,000 calls from CrimeStoppers

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