NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin has officially resigned from his position after being caught at his holiday home during the coronavirus stay at home order.
Harwin was the first minister to be charged with disobeying social distancing laws, copping a $1,000 fine after he was spotted at his Pearl Beach property on Wednesday.
“Today I have offered my resignation to the Premier as a Minister in her government. There is nothing more important than the work of the government in fighting the coronavirus crisis,” Harwin said in a statement on Friday evening.
“I will not allow my circumstances to be a distraction from that work and I very much regret that my residential arrangements have become an issue during this time.”
In a statement released on Friday evening, Harwin commended the work of Gladys Berejiklian and the rest of the NSW government before asserting that he acted in accordance with NSW law.
“At all times I have sought to act in accordance with public health orders and I sought advice that my living arrangements complied with those orders. I remain confident that I have acted in accordance with those orders,” he continued.
“I know however that perception is just as important during these times.”
Premier Berejiklian also released a statement on Friday evening following Harwin’s resignation.
“During this health crisis my government has asked the community to make greater sacrifices than all of us have ever had to make before. These sacrifices are saving lives, and I am proud of the people of NSW for continuing to uphold the law in the interest of the public health,” Berejiklian said in a statement.
“Whilst Minister Harwin has served the people of NSW well, and he continues to assure me that he did not break the rules, the orders in place apply equally to everybody. Accordingly, Minister Harwin has appropriately resigned from cabinet.”
More to come.