October 6, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier
After Gladys Berejiklian’s shock resignation on Friday, NSW has a new Premier, the former Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, who has not ruled out tweaks to the state’s plan to emerge from a COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than 100 days.
Perrottet has said next Monday’s reopening will go ahead, with the state expected to reach a 70 percent double vaccination rate in the next day or two, which will grant significant freedoms to fully vaccinated people in locked down parts of the state, but will also introduce restrictions for those who are unvaccinated in parts of the state that are not under a lockdown. In areas that had no COVID-19 cases, unvaccinated people who were previously allowed to attend or work in hospitality venues, non-essential retail shops, event venues, stadiums, theatres and the like, will effectively enter lockdown conditions.
In his inaugural speech as Premier yesterday, Perrottet said he would be discussing the reopening plan with the NSW Crisis Cabinet, which he was already part of as Treasurer when Berejiklian was Premier.
“What I commit to doing is this afternoon after the swearing-in, I will be sitting down with Minister Hazzard and the health team alongside Minister Ayres and members of the crisis cabinet to have a discussion in relation to the roadmap,” he said.
“But obviously this is early days and we have done so well and my intention at this stage is that that day [for restrictions to lift] will remain on Monday for next week, but there are a number of issues that need to be looked at.
“Obviously health is our number one priority right now.
“We will obviously look at the roadmap. We are committed to it, both Minister Ayres and myself played an important role in developing that with the Premier and the Deputy Premier but we will work through those issues over the course of the day.”
The state’s Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres has been elected as Perrottet’s Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party – it remains to be seen if tourism – and business events – will get a greater focus with his elevated position within the party.
Meanwhile we’ll be keeping our ear to the ground – and Perrottet’s first COVID press conferences as Premier – to see what changes may be in store for NSW’s reopening.