For weeks now the premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian has been warning that the Covid situation is expected to peak in early October, that this is when the hospital system will be under the most stress.
This morning, the Premier announced that she and her political colleagues will no longer run daily Covid press conferences.
This is an appalling decision in my opinion. Cutting opportunity for scrutiny at the time it is most needed speaks volumes and crushes trust. The decision also sends the message that infection is no longer the story, opening it up to people to be less vigilant.
The NSW state government failed to appropriately deal with the latest Covid outbreak. Their decisions relating to reducing infection were weak, late and not backed with appropriate regulations and infrastructure. These failures let Covid infections increase – landing NSW where it is today, with an outbreak at a point that the government appears unable, or unwilling, to control.
Even yesterday, when the Premier was announcing plans to open up, she made it clear that local businesses would have to do the heavy lifting to check Covid vaccine status if they wanted to trade. This is yet another pass of of the buck by a government that is a master of abrogating responsibility.
It is right at this point, at the expected peak of Covid infection rate and hospitalisation, that people in the community crave leadership, they crave faith that it will be okay at some point in the future we can see. But, rather than provide that leadership, the Premier of NSW has decided, for some reason, to go into hiding.
The announcement today will negatively impact community confidence, consumer confidence. It also reduces the opportunity for scrutiny, which weakens democracy. This announcement today is bad for business. I am surprised that the Premier and her cabinet don’t see or understand this.
Right now, confidence is fragile. It needs support, from political and community leaders, for it is this confidence that fuels economic activity.
With the Premier Berejiklian and her state government going into hiding, it will be up to local small business more than ever to comfort and lead, through offering safe and easy shopping, connecting with the local community and helping keeping the wheels of commerce flowing. I see so many local small business retailers doing this every day. They should be proud of their service and the comfort this provides.
The announcement today by the NSW Premier to reduce opportunity for scrutiny would usually be ripped apart by news outlets. I have my doubts that will happen given the lobbying role News Corp and Nine Media outlets seem to play for the conservative side of politics.