Dominic Perrottet slammed as ‘disrespectful’ for not inviting Dr Kerry Chant to his press conference
Dominic Perrottet has dismissed criticism for snubbing Kerry Chant from his first Covid press conference since becoming NSW premier.
Dr Chant, the state’s chief health officer, was expected to attend the Tuesday briefing to celebrate NSW hitting 70 per cent vaccination.
But she was nowhere to be seen as Mr Perrottet announced major changes to the roadmap out of lockdown she had a big part in making possible.
The new premier was surrounded by several colleagues, including Health Minister Brad Hazzard, and quickly inundated with questions about Dr Chant’s absence.
One reporter went as far to describe Dr Chant’s omission as ‘disrespectful’ and others questioned if she even endorsed the accelerated roadmap.
Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has been slammed as ‘disrespectful’ over his decision not to invite Dr Kerry Chant to his first major Covid press conference
‘What does it say about your respect for Dr Kerry Chant when she’s lead us through this for the last two years and you wouldn’t invite her here today at your first major [press conference],’ one reporter asked.
‘It is a bit disrespectful isn’t it?’
Mr Perrottet replied tersely: ‘Dr Chant is one of my favourite constituents in Epping. We have always had a great relationship.’
The reporter said it was reasonable during a health crisis to expect the chief health officer to attend major Covid press conferences.
‘Well, it’s also an economic crisis as well,’ a rattled Mr Perrottet replied. ‘As the new premier, we’re the elected officials.
‘The style might be different and changes will get made, but in my view we had a very constructive discussion last night and as the health minister has said, these changes are supported by the health team.’
Mr Perrottet was quickly inundated with questions regarding the state’s Chief Health Officer’s (pictured) exclusion from the monumental press conference on Thursday
One attending reporter went as far to describe Dr Chant’s (right) omission as ‘disrespectful’ while others questioned if she had even endorsed the changes to the roadmap
Other reporters seemed unconvinced and asked again if the changes to the roadmap had been approved by Dr Chant and the health team.
‘I sat down with the health minister and Dr Chant yesterday,’ the premier repeated.
‘We went through some of these potential changes. We went through the opportunities to make some sensible amendments, some stable and steady amendments, to the roadmap.’
Mr Perrottet reassured reporters the chief health officer and her team would continue to be members of his rebranded subcommittee in the future.
‘I think the health minister has made it very clear the changes today are supported and endorsed by the health team in the entire NSW Government,’ he said.
Mr Perrottet (pictured) reassured reporters the chief health officer and her team would continue to be members of his rebranded subcommittee in the future
The revisions will allow Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 12 to return to school on Monday October 18, with all students back in the classroom by October 25.
Limits on household gatherings and weddings and funerals for the fully vaccinated will also be double what was promised by his predecessor Gladys Berejiklian.
Up to 10 residents excluding children will be allowed to gather inside homes across the state, and as many as 100 permitted to attend weddings and funerals.
Indoor swimming pools will also be able to open for swimming lessons, training and rehabilitation activities.
From the 80 per cent vaccination milestone, expected by October 25, restrictions will ease further.
This includes a cap of 3,000 people for controlled and ticketed outdoor events and the reopening of nightclubs.
The new state leader announced an overhaul of NSW’s roadmap out of lockdown on Thursday (pictured, bar staff make drinks in Sydney)
Up to 10 residents excluding children will be allowed to gather inside homes across the state, and as many as 100 permitted to attend weddings and funerals (pictured, Opera Bar in Sydney)
Mandatory mask use will also be ditched in office buildings in an attempt to encourage workers back into the Sydney CBD.
These freedoms will only be restored for the fully vaccinated until December 1, when freedoms are restored for the unvaccinated.
‘These changes today are measured, sensible, and ensure we open up in a very safe way,’ Mr Perrottet said of the changes to the state’s roadmap.
‘I met yesterday for some time with Dr Chant and with Minister Hazzard. We ran through a whole range of issues.
‘It was a long meeting, but one in which I think was constructive, productive and these changes today, I think, will make a real difference.’