Gladys Berejiklian has been accused of indecision over Sydney’s lockdown restrictions, allegedly forcing the Prime Minister to step in. New reports have claimed Prime Minister Scott Morrison directly advised Gladys Berejiklian to impose harsher lockdown restrictions on the Greater Sydney region this weekend. On Saturday, Ms. Berejiklian ordered all non-essential retail and construction to shut up shop until at least July 30th, or until contact tracers detect zero cases of community transmission. Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell claimed Mr. Morrison was a “key driver” behind the scenes in NSW, urging the Premier to “go hard” despite having built an image as one of the more lenient premiers regarding lockdowns.
“Sky News can reveal the Prime Minister was a key driver in advising the Premier to go harder to squash the virus in Australia’s biggest city,” Mr. Clennell said. It comes as NSW awaits its Sunday results, tipped to exceed 100 for another day running. “Now we know Morrison came to the conclusion that it was time to go hard,” Mr. Clennell continued, claiming, “Ms. Berejiklian’s tendency to revert to indecision has been cited by colleagues as to why she didn’t go the whole hog earlier”.
“The reluctance of some in her Cabinet has been seen as another reason. And there’s another view she didn’t want to be seen following Victorian Premier Dan Andrews.” When questioned on the NSW lockdown this week, Mr. Morrison appeared confident in the NSW Government’s response to the latest outbreak. “The Commonwealth understands we will be continuing to support that for as long as the lockdown remains in place,” he told reporters. “Hopefully, that won’t be too long; I have no doubt NSW will ensure it will only go as long as it has to, but it will go as long as it needs to.”
The Prime Minister has previously praised Ms. Berejiklian for handling the outbreak and maintaining NSW‘s image as the state that stays open. In July 2020, Mr. Morrison spoke publicly on NSW’s response as Mr. Andrews ordered Victoria into its most extended lockdown period to date. I commend the NSW Premier for the way she is handling the outbreak in NSW, the fact she hasn’t locked down Australia’s biggest city,” Mr. Morrison said at the time. “She has taken the very positive decision to keep Sydney open for its residents and to continue to rely on Australia’s best contact tracing system in NSW. They have backed the weapons that they have built and formed to combat this virus, and they have done it each and every day.