New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said he had a “very constructive discussion” with state Health Secretary Brad Hazzard after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday afternoon and will meet with health officials this morning.
The newly elected Liberal leader told 2GB radio station that there are a number of issues he wants to bring up at the meeting about the state’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions, including people visiting sick and dying loved ones.
When asked about the mandatory wearing of masks in offices, which was lifted in phase three of the roadmap on 1 December, Mr Perrottet said there was no doubt that the requirement in the office environment was a “barrier” for people returning to Sydney and Parramatta CBDs.
But he did not want to pre-empt any decisions before the cabinet meeting for the state crisis later today.
“There are a number of areas within the roadmap to look at,” said Mr Perrottet, adding that he would like to see people return to CBDs this year as quickly as possible.
Under pressure from host Ben Fordham, the prime minister said: “I may be the president, Ben, but I’m not a dictator and I’m part of a team.
There are a number of issues I would like to raise with our health officials this morning. Whatever we do, we want to make sure it’s done in a way that keeps people safe.
“But, in the end, it’s important to get people back into the city because we want to breathe life into Sydney, we want to breathe life into Parramatta, all of these major city centers because when they do a good job, there are a lot of small businesses that depend on that movement on foot. “.
Mr Perrottet said he expected the country to return to normal quickly, given the backlog of demand heading into December and summer, and “a strong economy outside the other side”.
The economic recovery plan will be announced in the next two weeks.