When asked about the inevitable in today’s daily update, the NSW Health Director has not held back from sharing her thoughts on Gladys Berejiklian.
Facing the media in his first press conference since Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation Friday, it was no surprise that Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and Health Minister Brad Hazzard faced questions about the outgoing prime minister.
Both had avoided such an event on Saturday when the daily press was replaced by a Facebook live team by NSW Health Officer Dr Jeremy McNulty who announced the case numbers.
Not today, though, as both rise at 11am to deliver the daily numbers, which continue to fall.
But the elephant in the room of Dr. Chant and Mr. Hazard was missing – Mrs. Berejiklian.
When asked about the outgoing New South Wales Prime Minister, Dr Chant emphasized that it was not “appropriate” for her to comment. However, she did share generous praise for Mrs. Berejiklian’s worthy morals and commitment to NSW.
“The Prime Minister has worked tirelessly since the pandemic began during this most difficult time and I think her unwavering commitment to society is very clear,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s really appropriate to go into any other issues but just to realize how difficult and committed the prime minister is.”
‘It’s sad that he got to this point’
Mr Hazzard praised the prime minister, describing Ms Berejiklian as an “honest person”. This is despite it being under investigation by the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ICAC).
“I think we as a community are forever grateful to Gladys Berejiklian,” said Mr. Hazzard.
“I think she was an amazing prime minister and a person of high integrity.
“It’s very sad that he got to this situation.”
“I am very sad that the prime minister will not be the prime minister after Tuesday,” said Mr Hazard, when questioned by reporters.
“She has done an incredible job but at the end of the day, she will be the first person to say that our government must continue to govern for the sake of society.”
The Independent Anti-Corruption Commission said on Friday it would investigate the prime minister over a possible breach of the public interest during her “close personal relationship” with disgraced Wagga Wagga Representative Daryl Maguire.
The subject of the question is a series of community grants awarded during 2012 and 2018 and whether they were “responsible for allowing or encouraging corrupt behavior by Mr. Maguire”.
Ms Berejiklian will officially step down on Tuesday 5 October during a Liberal Party hall which will also reveal her successor.
Current Planning Minister Rob Stokes is the only candidate to have officially announced his interest, but NSW Treasurer Dominic Perot is also expected to run.