NSW’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard claimed ‘people from other backgrounds’ are flouting Sydney’s lockdown restrictions and sir, we’re going to need a fucking source for that??
In Tuesday’s presser, Hazzard was asked about whether residents of south-west and western Sydney were complying with the current stay-at-home orders. Hazzard’s response was… questionable.
“Probably something in order of 95%, a high percentage, of people are complying,” Brad Hazzard responded.
“There are other communities and people from other backgrounds who don’t seem to think that it is necessary to comply with the law and who don’t really give great consideration to what they do in terms of its impact on the rest of the community.
“I do say to them, you need to because otherwise the forces of the law are coming after you.”
Um, excuse me? ‘People of other backgrounds’? What is that supposed to mean, considering the areas in question have high numbers of ethnic populations?
People online were quick to call out the dubious claim, with many taking to social media to ask who Hazzard is referring to specifically, or what evidence supports such divisive and potentially racist claims.
Brad Hazzard says thanks people in Fairfield who have gotten the numbers down. Then adds: "There are other communities and people from other backgrounds who don't seem to think that it is necessary to comply with the law". "Other backgrounds"?
— Luke Henriques-Gomes (@lukehgomes) August 10, 2021
What “other backgrounds” is Hazzard revering to? #covidnsw
— Patricia Karvelas (@PatsKarvelas) August 10, 2021
— ????Dr???? Julia Baird (@bairdjulia) August 10, 2021
Others pointed out that people from all areas, including richer, whiter areas of Sydney have been seen flouting restrictions.
Brad Hazzard says "There are *other people* from *other backgrounds* who don't give consideration to the law and the impact of their behaviour on the community."
— Stephen (@TheAviator1992) August 10, 2021
Brad Hazzard, 'You can't legislate against stupidity, arrogance and entitlement.'
Perhaps not, but it appears you can elect it.
— Aaron Smith (@Aaronsmith333) August 10, 2021
Hazzard didn’t stop there, continuing to lay blame for lockdown and high case numbers onto people in Sydney’s southwest and west.
“No matter what legal order or what legal requirements are in place you just can’t legislate against stupidity, arrogance and entitlement,” Hazzard said.
“If they complied with the rule and the law and they applied an element of common sense and a modicum of decency to the rest of the community, we would be fine.”
Brad Hazzard denies any racial undertone to 'people from other backgrounds' comment, "I meant that in an obviously racial way"
— Chaser Interns (@ChaserInterns) August 10, 2021
Thanks to Brad Hazzard for telling us, the peasants, that it’s our fault that the Covid numbers are rising. Apparently the NSW government is doing a fabulous job.
Fuck you NSW govt.
— Mel (@MelissmaF) August 10, 2021
Bankstown's mayor is clearly very frustrated with the Premier's messaging towards his community. Despite being the epicentre of the Delta outbreak he says he's only heard from @GladysB once during #sydneylockdown pic.twitter.com/MzNn7eBLPA
— Gavin Coote (@GavinCoote) August 10, 2021
Clr. Khal Afsour, Mayor of the city of Bankstown-Canterbury LGA, has hit out at the NSW government for their messaging against his community in western Sydney.
“Each day that passes, each day presents a farcical Covid message and another day of blaming Canterbury Bankstown,” Afsour said in a post on Facebook.
“Today, the Premier, Gladys Bereijiklian, Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant and Health Minister, Brad Hazzard laid the blame for the spread of the virus fairly and squarely at community leaders and the decent people of Canterbury Bankstown. Blaming me and other community leaders for not spreading the message.
“Premier, I’ve had heard from you once during this lockdown and that was when I facilitated a forum bringing together community leaders. My priority is the safety of the community and I will continue to fight for them,” he said, before listing questions on behalf of the community for clarity regarding the pandemic and calling out Hazzard for calling his community “not decent.”
“I know we are ‘all in this together’ and you are ‘seeing the green shoots’ but please give me some fertiliser, so the green shoots can flourish.
“PS To the many hard-working people living in this beautiful City, please get vaccinated and please stay at home unless it is completely necessary to leave the house.”
Afsour’s comments come just weeks after Cumberland City Council mayor Steve Christou slammed NSW Police for requesting military in the streets of western Sydney – something that was not done when this outbreak began in Bondi.
They're polarising the city between those who are being 'good' and those who are being 'bad'/'non-compliant'. They aren't doing things like paying people to stay home while they await test results. It's scolding not supporting.
— celerysorbet (@CelerySorbet) July 29, 2021
“I don’t think people are going to accept it very well – our people are one of the poorest demographics, and as it is, they already feel picked on and marginalised, as if their whole life has been taken away from them,” he told SBS on 9 July, 2021.
“They can’t afford to pay the mortgage, the rent, the food or work. Now to throw out the army to enforce lockdown on the streets is going to be a huge issue to these people.
“It’s demoralising for a lot of people.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s comments regarding ‘people of other backgrounds’ can only further marginalised groups that are already feeling disenfranchised and targeted – especially when he didn’t source his information.
But it seems blundering pressers is becoming a hobby for Hazzard, who on the same day as these comments, chucked a hissy fit and refused to let Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant release documents detailing her COVID-19 advice about locking down Greater Sydney.
— Squizz (@SquizzSTK) August 10, 2021
Q to Dr Chant: Have you given stronger recommendations than what the Government has imposed?
A: Brad Hazzard refuses to let Dr Chant answer.
Hard to infer anything but yes from this performance.
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) August 10, 2021
The footage of the parliamentary inquiry is painful to watch, with Hazzard blustering his way through and exclaiming “I’m the Minister, I’ll answer the question” as people continuously ask him to let Dr. Chant speak.
Mind you, this is also the same man who monumentally fucked up a conference over the weekend by adding five deaths to the COVID presser as an afterthought. So clearly, things are going well in his PR department.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s office for comment.