NSW and the ‘Let It Rip’ Leadership
When MP Dom Perrottet was appointed NSW Premier on 5 October 2021, his speech was titled:
Just over two months later, on 15 December 2021 – mere hours after the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced ‘…vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis’- the newly-minted NSW Premier and insolvency tax lawyer, Dominic Perrottet eliminated the mandate on hotel quarantine, reduced the number of contact tracers and health workers at Covid-19 testing sites, removed the mandate on mask wearing, social distancing and other preventative measures against the health advice of the Australian Medical Association, and the NSW Chief Health Officer.
His priority: strong recommendation for everyone to vaccinate. Obediently, Perottet preferred to reinforce the position of the Liberal National Party’s chief spokesperson, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, under a spin that fell awkwardly onto ‘letting the people of NSW to take responsibility for their own health practices’.
Two days later, Covid-19 cases in NSW were reproducing at the highest rate that year.
It took less than two weeks for NSW to register 25,000 covid infections per day.
For the first time in our state’s history a politician actually did what he said he would do. He wrote a new chapter in NSW’s story – single-handedly taking us from a ‘model state’ for health crisis management, to the pin up state for what not to do in a health crisis.
Perrottet’s maiden speech as Premier positioned him as ‘the family Premier’ – I suspect because he has a house full of children and he and his lawyer wife have demanding jobs, so they understand what it’s like to be a hardworking two income family on a guaranteed government pension.
Let’s firstly just take a moment for some perspective, as these are emotional times…
On 23 February, 2021 MP Dominic Perrottet wrote a piece titled ‘State of confidence is Key: Economic indicators show the pandemic recovery…’
“…Australia is among a select group of countries to have kept the spread of the COVID-19 virus relatively under control. In Europe, the USA and various other hotspots, daily new cases are still being counted in the thousands, while here we fret about one or two.
“In NSW the prowess of our health system – and most importantly, the amazing NSW Health personnel who have kept raising the bar for testing and contact tracing – has undoubtedly boosted confidence, demonstrating a consistent ability to contain outbreaks as they arise such as on the Northern Beaches at Christmas.
“The approach taken by our Government in tackling both the health and economic challenges has been very much geared towards giving the people of our state as much confidence as possible in the most uncertain period in living memory.
“The impact of a snap five-day lockdown in Victoria was a stark reminder of the constant challenges of COVID and how far and wide decisions made by Governments are felt….
“The challenge for every Government remains the need to balance the health response with the social and economic consequences with every decision we make.
“That’s what is driving our approach, and it’s an important factor in ensuring the people of NSW can face the future with optimism, determination and confidence.”
Under Gladys Berejiklian’s leadership, he had something to hang a medal on.
Can’t wait to see what awaits us on 15 February 2022 …