Private emails released under parliamentary orders reportedly reveal that our good old friend Dr Kerry Chant (where’d she go?) was consistently pushing for an intense state-wide lockdown in NSW, rather than the targeted lockdown which saw only 12 LGAs in south-west and western Sydney become disproportionately slammed with shutdown rules.
According to the SMH, emails retrieved between Kerry Chant, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and other NSW health officials reveal that if Kerry Chant had it her way in July, we’d all have been in a hard and fast lockdown similar to that of Victoria in 2020.
“Implement consistent measures across greater metropolitan Sydney with outdoor masks, consistent 5km rule and authorised workers only,” Chant reportedly wrote in an email.
However, the actions taken from this advice were not at all consistent across all of NSW, as we saw. Ultimately only 12 LGAs in the western Sydney area faced an intense lockdown, with even the military being enlisted to help ensure people were obeying health orders. Meanwhile, those in Bondi were lounging about on the beach in large numbers. A double standard if there ever was one.
In other emails, Chant encouraged that a strict curfew be put in place across all NSW suburbs “as we need to signal the absolute urgency of the current situation with strong compliance presence”.
“Dear Minister, in summary, recommend stage 4 restriction approach outlined in Victoria with the exception of permitting takeaway food,” she wrote in a July 13 email.
Throughout multiple dates in July, Chant recommended a tougher lockdown for all, and yet on August 23, 12 LGAs were given a harsh curfew and tougher restrictions.
Those in greater Sydney were able to go anywhere within 5km from their LGA border, while those in Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Strathfield could only go 5km from their homes.
NSW Labor leader Chris Minn has slammed the NSW Liberals for ignoring the health advice clearly pointed out to them in these newly released documents.
“These revelations show they ignored health advice and left Sydney’s west and south-west under tougher restrictions when it is clear consistency should have been applied across the whole of Greater Sydney,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Some of the harshest restrictions the country has seen were imposed on western Sydney communities. The government with Dominic Perrottet front and centre split Sydney in two, when there should not have been a divide.”
This is shocking!
We’ve just revealed that the NSW Govt. ignored the health advice of Dr Kerry Chant in lockdown.
And created the two Sydneys.
— Chris Minns (@ChrisMinnsMP) November 21, 2021
To be fair, if we’re going to point blame at Dominic Perrottet, why not include old mate Gladys Berejiklian in the mix. Nobody who ignored health advice should be free from scrutiny.