//NSW Arts Minister resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown rules

NSW Arts Minister resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown rules

Updated

April 10, 2020 18:53:48

Embattled New South Wales cabinet minister Don Harwin has resigned after being fined $1,000 for breaching the ban on non-essential travel due to coronavirus.

Key points:

  • Don Harwin argued his travel to his holiday house on the Central Coast happened before the strict rules were put in place
  • In a statement, the NSW Arts Minister said he didn’t want to allow “my circumstances to be a distraction” from the State Government’s work
  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is appropriate Mr Harwin resigned as minister

The NSW Arts Minister was photographed at his Central Coast holiday home, but he argued his travel happened before the strict rules were in place.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said no-one was above the law and Mr Harwin was fined for breaching the public health order.

In a statement, Mr Harwin said he regretted it had become an issue, but insisted he had acted in accordance with public health orders.

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“Today I have offered my resignation to the Premier as a Minister in her government,” he said.

“There is nothing more important than the work of the Government in fighting the coronavirus crisis.

“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.

“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.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was appropriate Mr Harwin resigned as a minister after breaching the coronavirus public health order.

In a statement, she said her Government was asking the community to make great sacrifices and while Minister Harwin assured her he did not break the rules, the police had fined him.

“During this health crisis, my Government has asked the community to make greater sacrifices than all of us have ever had to make before,” she said.

“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.”

NSW Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord said it was right for Ms Berejiklian to accept Mr Harwin’s resignation.

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Topics:

infectious-diseases-other,

respiratory-diseases,

covid-19,

states-and-territories,

nsw

First posted

April 10, 2020 18:10:34