Written by Malcom Cole, DIrector - Media and Communications
Only minutes after our last edition of The Inside Word was released, the state political realm was shaken by the sudden resignation of then New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian. After a short period of political manoeuvring, a leadership ballot for the NSW Liberals was won by 39-year-old father of six (soon to be seven) Dominic Perrottet.
The mantle of Premier of Australia’s largest state has settled very quickly and very comfortably on Perrottet’s shoulders, and he has quickly assumed a position of leadership within the National Cabinet. Most notably, he has forced the Prime Minister’s hand on reopening the international border – declaring in his first week that NSW would throw open its doors to overseas arrivals. He has also declared an end to lockdowns. His rapid and decisive policy in relation to opening up after COVID has seen him dubbed the Premier of Australia, by none other than the ABC.
Other Premiers have not followed his lead as strongly as the Prime Minister has, however. Victoria has ended its world-record lockdown, but is moving cautiously and methodically back to life as normal.
Queensland similarly has been pressured into releasing a plan for opening up when vaccination targets are met, and the Palaszczuk Cabinet has actively toured the state urging citizens of regional Queensland to get the jab. But the Government in Queensland remains committed to its cautious approach – prompting speculation that New South Wales residents will be holidaying overseas before they are holidaying in the Sunshine State.
The Queensland Government has an opportunity to review its policies and position in coming weeks as the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, relinquishes her post after 16 years, in order to take up the position of Governor. She will be replaced by infectious diseases expert Dr Krispin Hajkowicz.