Documents released to the NSW Upper House show that the Coalition government’s so-called “Crisis Cabinet” did not meet once in the eight critical days that followed the Eastern Suburbs Covid outbreak on 16 June 2021. These were the eight days during which Covid spread through Greater Sydney creating the health crisis that is still engulfing the state.
The failure of the Premier to even convene the Crisis Cabinet is the clearest explanation yet as to why NSW was so incredibly slow to take serious measures to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said: “During these eight critical days, as Sydney’s Covid cluster was spinning out of control, the so-called Crisis Cabinet didn’t meet even once.
“What’s the point of a Crisis Cabinet that doesn’t meet in the middle of a crisis?
“We have been looking for an explanation of why it took so long for the Coalition to order a city-wide lockdown and now we know, it’s because the Premier never even called the cabinet together.
“We only found this out through repeated questions from the Opposition and Cross Bench during online budget estimates.
“No wonder this government is so keen to prevent Parliament’s return and what will come with that, which is a ramping up of accountability,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The Crisis Policy Committee was convened in response to the 2019-20 NSW bushfire crisis and, according to the government’s answers, provides “overarching strategic policy leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic response.”
The Crisis Policy Committee met once on 16 June 2021 and did not meet again until 25 June 2021- see Department of Premier and Cabinet Answers to Questions on Notice, page 5.