‘He wanted to charge first and be a hero’: colleague Asha Dominic Perotet has learned from the backflip. Dominic Perotet

In The second week of October, as the New South Wales Covid-19 lockdown comes out of winter, the new premiere Dominic Perotet Soon set to position itself as the optimistic face of post-epidemic Australia.

Introducing himself to a voter clinging to the security blanket-like Gladys Berezkillian during the Delta Wave, the new premier sought to define himself as a business-normal replacement.

Instead, in a series of press conferences held in pubs across Sydney, Perotet came as a beer drinker, the freedom-loving leader determined to push Covid 19 off the front page, ushering in a new era of living with the virus.

The chief medical officer, Dr Kerry Chant, was particularly sidelined, while quarantine requirements for international arrivals, which was the mainstay of Australia’s cowardly response, Dismissed soon. In November, sanctions were added The roadmap set by Berezkillian before his departure was eased.

“We can’t live in a monastic state here,” Perotet said, announcing on October 15 that the NSW would reopen its borders.

“We have to open up.”

For a while, the hilarious crash-or-crash-through style worked. From the end of the lockout to the beginning of December, covid cases on the NSW remained stable, while the number of hospital admissions actually decreased. On December 8, Perotet gave a speech at the National Press Club in which he emphasized the need for state and Commonwealth reform “as we move beyond the epidemic.”

By mid-December, when the highly contagious Omicron variant led to the mounting of case numbers, the equation began to change. This week, as the prime minister marks 100 days in office, he is surrounded by growing crises, including a failed testing system, a overwhelmed hospital system, a lack of supply chain and a skyscraper infection rate. In the middle of the highest in the world.

Questions are being raised about the government’s directive after Berezkillian was forced to resign. Some senior ministers are increasingly concerned about the barrage of negative headlines facing the government in the months leading up to its biggest electoral asset, Berezkilian’s personal popularity, and a series of by-elections in the coming months.

This week former NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance, who resigned to run for the Liberal seat in Gilmore’s federal seat, released a video on Facebook in which he called for “supportive leadership” and urged the government to consider increasing business support. Listening to Kerry Chant. “

While some may have misunderstood Berezklian’s extremely cautious approach, Perotet may have pushed the needle too far in the opposite direction.

“The thing about Dom is that he’s a tireless optimist, he’s a glass half-full man. That’s a really good thing, but that means he wanted to be the hero to liberate the state without fully thinking about the consequences.” A senior lawmaker told the Guardian this week.

“It’s clear that ‘OK, cases are not the main game, but if cases start to grow, then what happens?’

That parrot was known as treasurer in some of the Delta-era restrictions. In July, the Australian Financial Review reported that he had suggested Chant If Sydney was unnecessarily shut down at the beginning of the Delta Wave, cut salaries, And several sources told the Guardian that during that period he and his new deputy, Stuart Ayres, were both the most vocal supporters of economic ideas during the epidemic.

“The alarm bells should have rung in December and they were not, and I think it’s based on the personal attitude of Perotet and Ires,” another senior NSW Liberal told the Guardian.

NSW hospitalization

“They have become more focused on the economy throughout the epidemic and I’m not surprised to see the numbers we see now because it seems to be an ideological approach to public health and you can’t have that.

“I think the big change, which has been noticed in the community, is not clearly heard in the way Kerry Chant did in the first two years of the epidemic.”

In fact, in the early days of his leadership, Perotet made no secret of his approach to change. Asked about Chant’s absence at a press conference in October, Perrotet replied: “We are elected officials … this is also an economic crisis.”

Later, when the rules for wearing indoor masks were repealed on December 15, Chant explicitly withdrew from the decision, calling it a “government matter.”

Former NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance urged the government this week to consider growing trade support by “listening to Kerry Chant”. Photo: Brendan Thorne / AAP

“I mean from all public health situations, I strongly recommend that we wear masks and I urge the community to do the same,” Chant said.

Although the number of cases has risen sharply in most countries since the advent of the Omicron strain, health experts say removing those measures has made a difference. Professor Alexandra Martinic, an epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, told the Guardian that a more cautious approach may have helped slow down the omikron wave.

“I think it helped flatten the curve. You know, the waves would still be generated but in the long run,” she said.

“Some people say, ‘Well, it’s better to do it fast, it’s like tearing up a band-aid’, but in reality when it’s fast, a lot of people die.”

While there is dissatisfaction within the government over the recent need for a backflip on mask mandates and changes in bans on singing and dancing in bars, there has also been a growing worldwide experience of covid cases following the advent of the Omicron variant show. A small perrottet can stem the tide.

The finance minister, Damien Todayhope, a close aide to the prime minister, believes Perrotte has done a good job of enduring the baptism of fire as a new leader, pointing to the fact that both Victoria and Queensland have seen the Covid case explode. Many restrictions have been criticized for parasite scraping. Both states also saw record number of cases and deaths this week.

“He has found himself in an epidemic where you make decisions every day of the week and everyone is a commentator; the difficulty of any political leader is that you are always under the critical microscope,” Todayhope told the Guardian.

“I think it’s easier for a long-time employee than for a newcomer because there is a history of decision-making and the community knows what to expect, and you see that Daniel Andrews or Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“Dom had no chance of establishing that kind of familiarity with the electorate so he is being closely scrutinized.”

In fact, much of the criticism centered on Perotet comes from other Australian leaders, despite his sharp approach to living with the virus.

Despite a previously cautious approach to Covid, Victoria’s Labor government is now almost locked in with the NSW, while Queensland has been gradually releasing border closures that have long divided the states into epidemics.

The Commonwealth has sometimes even surprised itself with a new premiere. When Perotet announced in mid-October that he would open international borders, the prime minister was Scott Morrison. Stopped playing catch-up in the announcement.

“Dom’s leadership has, in many respects, forced the prime minister and other jurisdictions to come together and join him,” he said.

“In terms of decision-making, he forced Morrison’s hand in relation to foreign students, in a sense he had no real jurisdiction, but he did force Morrison’s hand because he believed in reviving the economy and reconnecting with the world.

“He leads the conversation and I think he understands that not everyone will agree with him, but it shows that there is some understanding about him.”

Admittedly, the rise of Omicron is unpredictable, but critics of the government’s response say the pressure is likely to be exacerbated by the growing number of cases. The ongoing lack of rapid antigen tests, even as the government seeks to make them the mainstay of its covid response; Severe stress on the state health system; And the pressure on small businesses caused by staff shortages due to isolation orders has added to the government’s inability to plan adequately to increase the number of cases.

NSW Opposition Leader Chris Mins said, “How can you build a system where you take people away from PCR tests and tell the workers they need to have quick tests, but they are either too expensive or unavailable or both,” said NSW Opposition Leader Chris Mins. . Patron

“I mean, it’s no wonder people sit at home and ask, ‘What do I do?’ It seems that all the sacrifices that people have made at great personal cost are disappearing. The government expects no one to stop Kovid but when you have some levers to use you should use them to the fullest. It is not enough to remove even minor measures in place and not to make those tests available. ”

A series of by-elections forced by the resignation of several lawmakers following the departure of the Berezkilian sizes as a preliminary test.

Although personally popular, the Peruvian, a conservative, factional minority in the moderate-influenced NSW Liberal Party, and 10 years after the coalition’s grip on power, three elections and four prime ministers have been gradually removed. After a decade in opposition, add to the growing power of labor led by Mins, and the stakes seem to be rising.

“Dom is a really favorite, engaging leader. I don’t think he’s still coming, but it will definitely be interesting when he’s in campaign mode,” said one Liberal insider.

“People are worried, and you understand why they’re nervous, but I don’t think anyone is scared. We just have to hold our nerves.”

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'He wanted to charge first and be a hero': colleague Asha Dominic Perotet has learned from the backflip. Dominic Perotet 3

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