COVID-19

‘Disappointing’: Premier on Gladys absence

Ms Berejiklian stepped down as Premier two weeks ago, after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) revealed it was investigating if she breached public trust by awarding grants to several community organisations between 2012 and 2018.The ICAC probe will examine if there was a conflict of interest between Ms Berejiklian’s public duties and private interests when she was in a secret relationship with disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.Mr Perrottet, who was Ms Berejiklian’s treasurer, said it was disappointing she was not able to be the state’s leader while pubs, restaurants and shops reopened to fully vaccinated customers.NSW now has reached a vaccination rate of 90.44 per cent of the population having at least a first dose, while 73.97 per cent of the state is fully immunised.“Oh, it’s disappointing. Gladys, as you know, has led us through this pandemic and (today) is a great day for the state,” Mr Perrottet said.“I’m sure we’re all disappointed that she’s not here to celebrate this great moment with the people of NSW. She was an outstanding Premier, the most outstanding Premier we’ve had. “She was out every single day, (doing) daily press conferences, and it hasn’t just been the last 100 days … we’re talking 18 months here of challenge for our state. “It’s been a very, very difficult time on government, on her as the leader. But I know she’s here in spirit and you never know, Gladys may go out and have a beer herself tonight and celebrate.”Greater Sydney had been in lockdown since June 26, while other parts of the state were also forced to endure stay-at-home orders for most of that period.But hospitality venues are now allowed to open their doors to vaccinated people, subject to a rule of one person per 4sq m inside and one person per 2sq m outside – with standing while drinking allowed outside.A maximum of 20 people are allowed per booking.Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sq m rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen, as well as personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons using a one person per 4sq m rule, capped at five clients per premises.“I see it as a day of freedom,” Mr Perrottet said. “It is a freedom day. Businesses are opening up. But that means it needs to be done in a measured and safe way. “Let’s not get caught into semantics about how we want to classify the day. What is most important is for the first time in a long time, people are getting the opportunity to go back to work.”

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