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Health Minister slams ‘disappointing’ Dan Andrews for betraying NSW in extraordinary Covid speech

New South Wales’ Health Minister has accused Dan Andrews and other state leaders of betraying his state in an extraordinary press conference on Saturday morning.

Brad Hazzard repeatedly expressed his ‘disappointment’ that the Victorian Premier and his counterparts were ‘casting aside’ the relationship they have with NSW as the state battles its ongoing pandemic crisis.

Mr Hazzard pointed to his state regularly providing assistance to others, including sending hundreds of frontline healthcare workers to Victoria during their 112-day lockdown last year, as well as helping them with battling bushfires and floods.

‘I want to remind those other states and territories that last time I looked, we were a Commonwealth – we worked together, and it disturbs me that that all we’ve ever done to work together has just seemingly been cast aside,’ he said.

‘When we have bushfires, when we have floods, people from our state go to help others. We know that and I can’t thank New South Wales residents for the years and years of contribution to other states. 

‘Equally, those other states send their community, their emergency workers, their fireworkers, their SESs – they come to us and help. 

‘I just want to emphasise that from my point of view it is with disappointment that I heard some of the responses from leaders from other states. 

NSW is desperately seeking more vaccines to innoculate residents as the latest cluster grows to 1,951 cases.

New South Wales’ Health Minister has accused Dan Andrews and other state leaders of betraying his state in an extraordinary press conference on Saturday morning

Mr Hazzard said he was 'disappointed' state leaders like Victorian Premier Dan Andrews had 'cast aside' their relationship after NSW sent hundreds of frontline workers in aid

Mr Hazzard said he was ‘disappointed’ state leaders like Victorian Premier Dan Andrews had ‘cast aside’ their relationship after NSW sent hundreds of frontline workers in aid

The latest cluster, which began in Bondi after an air crew driver tested positive on June 16, skyrockets to 1,951 with Saturday's announcement

The latest cluster, which began in Bondi after an air crew driver tested positive on June 16, skyrockets to 1,951 with Saturday’s announcement

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The NSW Health Minister said he personally ‘said goodbye’ to many of his healthcare colleagues who were travelling to Victoria in 2020 who were ‘risking their lives’ to help another state. 

‘Last year when Victoria was in trouble and, from this end, we were thankfully not suffering the same problems that our Victorian colleagues and friends were suffering, I personally said goodbye to a number of health staff who went down to Victoria and put their lives at risk – put their lives on the line,’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘I personally as Health Minister here stood proudly with them in this very building and welcomed many of them back, and what they told me was that they really did feel that they had risked their lives in going down there, but that was what they were prepared to do to support our friends in Victoria, our fellow Australians in Victoria.’

He also likened Sydney’s current outbreak, which was described by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday as a ‘national emergency’, to similar situations in other states including Victoria’s recent battle with bushfires and floods.    

‘I can’t quite see the difference between beating backfires and beating back and addressing the problems of floods, and beating back this COVID virus that could actually, if it gets worse here in New South Wales, could actually create massive problems for the whole country,’ he said.

The health minister also said other states should be grateful to NSW for providing the ‘gateway’ for their residents to return home from overseas, with Sydney taking in the vast majority of returning Australians. 

‘New South Wales is the gateway to the rest of Australia. We’ve done enormous work to bring back so many Australians,’ he noted.

‘More than half of all Australians who have come back have come back through the gateway of Sydney, and we continue to step up and make sure that we support our nation, our Commonwealth, and I certainly ask for the other leaders in our other states to reflect on that.’     

Mr Hazzard also likened Sydney's current outbreak to similar situations in other states including Victoria's recent battle with bushfires and floods.

Mr Hazzard also likened Sydney’s current outbreak to similar situations in other states including Victoria’s recent battle with bushfires and floods.

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced Sydney has recorded 163 new coronavirus cases on Saturday with 45 infectious in the community

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced Sydney has recorded 163 new coronavirus cases on Saturday with 45 infectious in the community

New South Wales recorded 163 new coronavirus cases on Saturday with 45 infectious in the community as Sydney struggles to come to grips with its latest outbreak.  

Mr Hazzard confirmed the numbers in his morning press conference from a record 93,900 tests.

The latest cluster, which began in Bondi after an air crew driver tested positive on June 16, skyrockets to 1,951 with Saturday’s announcement. 

‘Very worryingly – very worryingly – 45 were infectious out in the community,’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘In other words, 45 people were out walking around and potentially spreading the virus which certainly explains why our numbers are going up. 

‘What it is telling us is we have a continuing and growing problem, particularly in south-west and western Sydney.’ 

There are currently 139 people in hospital with Covid as a result of the latest outbreak, which includes 37 in intensive care, 17 of whom require ventilators.

There are 55 people under the age of 55 that are in hospital, including 28 under the age of 35.

Of the 37 people in intensive care, 36 are unvaccinated, with the other one having received only their first dose of AstraZeneca.    

NSW reported 136 new local cases on Friday, a new daily high for the current outbreak which started in mid-June

NSW reported 136 new local cases on Friday, a new daily high for the current outbreak which started in mid-June

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