A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Berejiklian leadership failure by cancelling Covid press conferences

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.

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  1. Graeme Day

    Quite the contrary opinion in NSW
    Most I talk with, especially newsagents and other business people think she is doing a fantastic job.,
    They are sick of being locked in and see the common sense approach she is taking and really don’t want the bullshit especially W.A. and QLD Dan has followed Gladys and with a record of deaths that has occurred under his watch,I don’t blame him in coming to his senses.
    A few more like Gladys and Australia will move again. and think her attitude is helping you Mark being able to travel O.S. sooner than before.
    Can’t see the downside here except from your viewpoint she is a Liberal not Labor which becoimes apparent with your political posts.

    3 likes

  2. Mark Fletcher

    Don’t make it about me Graeme.

    This decision by the NSW Premier reduced scrutiny and transparency right at the crisis point that the Premier has been saying is coming. This is, by any measure, appalling leadership.

    I know of many small business retailers appalled by the leadership of the state government.

    9 likes

  3. Peter R

    Graeme if Mark’s is a political post what is yours, pot calling the kettle black me thinks

    8 likes

    • Graeme Day

      Spot on Peter, It’s not my scene however it was an answer to a political statement not one I posted on this site and you know that.
      I know Mark’s bias he repeats it often however that’s his call however the statements he made about NSW got undemy skin when I get talking to newsagents they ae more than happy with her attitude.
      Anyway I said my piece and that’s it. I don’t talk Politics or Religion -no point This was about NSW. and it does more harm than good.

      2 likes

    • Graeme Day

      Mark,
      As you stated it is your opinion yet you are stating as by “any measure” which means much more than your opinion.
      I believe bashing State politicians is not a way to go for anyone We are all Australins and when one starts this the Battle lines are drawn with evryone being defensive.
      Not good howver I am in NSW and I think as I said doing a great job. Even the left wing newsapers from The Fin Rev and SMH to the right wing all agree on her stance.
      Now this is a first.
      I’ve made my point ..twice and that’s it for me re this subject.
      I note tghe previous post re Data and I gree totally with what you say -it’s agreat business post and I will attend it shortly as I have a comment to make there as a positive point for new comers.

      2 likes

  4. Mark Fletcher

    Nine Media mastheads are not left wing. Worse, they are not balanced. We have few print media outlets in Australia that are balanced.

    The NSW government has delivered successive appalling Covid responses over recent months, putting the country at risk.

    Again, now is not the time for the Premier to hide and deny an opportunity for transparency and scrutiny. Doing so is appalling leadership.

    9 likes

  5. Steve

    Personally in regards to the NSW Government the jury is still out for me Yes in hindsight the initial response to this latest outbreak was a bit weak. But on the other hand the stronger act fast hard handed approach by the Victorian Government is also struggling to shut down the virus.
    As far as daily press conferences go I for one have switched off. I don’t need to hear the same numbers day after day. My cousin is a former Deputy Prime Minister and I would hate to be in their shoes. What I do know is that small businesses are in a mess. The Feds could be doing more as more pain is to come.

    6 likes

    • Graeme Day

      Steve, I agree with you that this is a situation that is unfolding as we go and some have taken ‘bold” moves and others safety ones. Eventually we all have to face the broad concept of COVID. This really is aproblem individually as we all have different circumstances. Aged , youth, different jobs -some made more money others are suffering beyond any recognition.
      I believe no one wants this especially a Govt. that has the responsibility to try and help all.
      I too feel for them, for they can only get critiscm. As for the daily update I couldn’t agree more The sooner we get on with our lives as we need to do for the rest is pathetic yet understanable for those that don’t think the big picture of this through.
      We one day have to face going back to production. We all know this. There will be casualties, I may be one of them amongst others you, some friends and some family, it’s rdeality and we can’t avoid te overall outcome by hiding We must face it and beat it as a society as did othes that made the hard decisions for us to be here today.
      Division is the enemy not the salvation.

      1 likes

  6. Michael

    I am on the border of an LGA hit hard by delta in NSW and I have to say that there is not one retailer I speak with who thinks Gladys is doing a good job. The decisions have been late and poorly announced. This use your common sense stuff from early on was ridiculous. Hiding from press scrutiny is a shocking look.

    6 likes

    • Graeme Day

      That’s perfectly understandable. All of us feel the same in isolation. I have a lung infection so more not young per se
      so Iam vulnaabkle howver it’s not about me.
      I take the view that what is going on will not make my situation worse or better. It is what it is. and I have to adapt
      The bigger picture is the Govts responsibility to the State as a whole.
      I really hope your situation gets better as I am sure it will for the virus moves on unfortunately it leave casualties.
      If we lockdown for ever , literally how would we survive? Governments don’t produce money we do they just use ours and our childrens and their childrens. They take home the big payouts by trying just to get relected.
      This unpopular move is refreshing for we can get back to being ourselves again.

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  7. Steve

    On a side note recipients of NSW Jobsaver payments have tonight received notification from Service NSW that one must now reapply on a fortnightly basis for continuation of Jobsaver payments What the f…k! These payments have been automatic since the start of the program on 18 July. Daily cases have now grown to 1542, and businesses are still not allowed to open , yet they spring this one on RU ok day Sorry the jury is now in , they have lost me. Don’t worry about Gladys where is Frydenberg and the Feds?

    4 likes

  8. Graeme Day

    Yes Steve, this is so stupid it’s hard to concieve. I was never a fan of Jobsaver as it was too much in favour of the employee rather than the employer.
    The reapplication of payment I could understand with an explanation of why and when the why was /is imminate..
    surely there must be amore detail than what you have been dealt with. I wonder what the next announcement will bring?

    0 likes

  9. Mark Fletcher

    At 136 locally acquired cases reported in a day, on July 23, 2021, the NSW Premier declared it a national emergency. Yesterday, the same Premier declared that fronting up the a daily news conference was not necessary, the same day the locally acquired infection number was 11 times the July number.

    This is appalling leadership.

    In the JobSaver program, when it was announced state and federal treasurers made it clear applications would not be necessary. The Prime Minister said they have made sure the money will flow easily.

    Just as the Premier has gone rogue in terms of following the health advice on dealing with the pandemic, the treasurers appear to have left the agreed path of business assistance.

    Businesses and communities need certainty. NSW is not delivering this, for in the federal government on business support.

    7 likes

  10. Graeme Day

    Read Peta Credlin Sunday Telegraph today for the facts between NSW, VIC and other States also her opinion of Gladys.
    Peta is a well respected Victorian Journo and Sky News presenter of which I don’t watch.
    I am an SBS news watcher.

    1 likes

  11. Michael

    Credlin is a political lobbyist, broadcast on and published by a commercially run political lobbying platform. No balance. Little regard for facts. The only respect is from who support her fringe views.

    The big issue for us right now is the infections that are growing in our community and the inability of the NSW government to properly support people getting sick because of their policy failures.

    4 likes

  12. Peter R

    Graeme by Quoting Credlin as a “Peta is a well respected Victorian Journo and Sky News presenter” and then admit “which I don’t watch” shows you political bias. Personally I find Credlin to be a RWFW and remember she was Tony Abbot’s Chief of Staff. Mr Abbot could not even hold his seat in a very conservative electorate.

    2 likes

  13. Graeme Day

    Oh Peter please get real. I know who Peta Credin is and I don’t watch her which means it’s NOT my bias.
    In fact I find most news services wanting so as I said I watch SBS and SBS on Demand for limited entertainment and read a lot. I read, and have read most of Ayn Rand -exhausted that and then Christopher Hitchins and watch his You Tubes as well as lots of financial books as the World economy and where we are headed interest me.
    It’s what I would like to think as progressive thought as one goes through life.
    So it’s best to ask why I made the statement than use it as your “assumption” of my thought pattern.
    It’s not what one thinks that matters it’s really how one thinks that is important.
    My opinion has nothing to do with her I am just putting the opposing argument to Marks which he would I believe so …excactly my point meaning his.
    My point was was mine long before Credlin published hers.
    The point is opion is never fact..it is opinion. I have mine Mark has his and all go go and get.. for my opinion doesn’t count it’s just my right to say it.
    I do not believe that posting politics gets any where and now that point has proven the obvious. Call me political however it’s drawn more political nonsense from this topic than I would have forseen, sadly.
    when I was younger it was Catholic versus Protestants now it’s Christians versus Muslims etc.
    If I said I am neutral to this and let’s say I was/am a non believer I would be lying for I can’t be neutral when I see what’s happening in Afghastan in saying religion is bunk, for women are equal -no question about this -no need to go any further re human rights-the discrimination says it all. So I could be religious and disagree or atheist and one would say of course you would say that ” I am against all religious belief -I am biased yet all I was doing was expressing my opinion.
    I was a compulsory 20 year old (not able to vote) called up for two years for the Vietnam war. (Birthday Ballot 1st Intake)
    So making a statement re the situation about my personal liberty didn’t make me anti comunist yet it would be taken that way. I would have been sent to goal as a concientious objector as many were. Simond Townsend was one of them.
    My point is because I opposed Mark’s point of view in this from my NSW perspective,doesn’t make my comment one of party politics or a support of such being demonstrated to you and reacted by you as political bias.
    Bias yes, it’s mine I said it and claim it, and also I have the right to alter my view when circumstances change my view , that’s life, it’s progressive, not rote.
    It’s my right as it’s Mark’s to say what he said. Issues are issues to me no more no less than that.
    I trust you realise my thought is freedom based as opinion is not personal.

    3 likes

  14. Lance

    At the press conference, Monday Sept 13th, GB advised she was always scheduled to appear today because of the changes to restrictions applying from today.
    Yes, today Monday Sept 13th.

    I guess the question is….
    So why were we told on Friday that the last press conferences would be on Sunday ?

    0 likes

    • Graeme Day

      Lance,
      The answer is politics -Gladys is under scrutiny by her party.
      The missing announcement, not made as such, is that Newsagents in NSW are no longer Essential Services they are now deemed with all the others that were/are Essential Services -“Critical Retailers”. A new classification which stops the debate about “essential” and makes us still up in the front line.
      I would expect other States to follow.

      0 likes

  15. Steve

    Following a backlash from the accounting profession the NSW Government has backtracked and delayed the need for retesting Jobsaver eligibility for at least another fortnight. Whilst this is good news in my opinion the NSW government should stick to its original announcement and extend automatic payments to at least the end of the Greater Sydney lockdown. Whilst this is primarily a NSW government decision the Feds need to realise the effects of the shutdowns on business all over Australia.

    3 likes

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