First day as premier, signals changes to NSW coronavirus roadmap

Former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged people to “get behind” her successor, Dominic Perrottet, on his first day in the top job.
Ms Berejiklian, who resigned on Friday amid revelations she was being investigated by ICAC, visited her electorate office in Sydney’s north today to speak to her staff.

She thanked well-wishers for their support, with messages and flowers left piled against the wall of her office.

Gladys Berejiklian has thanked supporters outside her electorate office in Sydney. (9News)

“It’s been an enormous comfort to know people care,” she said.

“I’m going to read every single card and every single message.”

She said Mr Perrottet, who was sworn in as Premier yesterday, would be an “outstanding” leader as NSW continued to fight its COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr Perrottet earlier said he has “incredible confidence” about the future of the state.

Speaking to Ben Fordham on 2GB, he said NSW’s economic recovery from COVID-19 since 2020 showed how the state could bounce back.

“The September quarter for this year will probably show negative growth but I expect us to bounce back very quickly,” he said.

“I think we’re going to have a very bright summer.”

New NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet on his way to work.
New Premier Dominic Perrottet has predicted a “bright summer” for NSW. (Nine)

Although he yesterday indicated the state’s “freedom day” would remain Monday, October 11, Mr Perrottet did signal other parts of NSW’s roadmap out of lockdown could change.

Compulsory mask-wearing in offices is set to remain until December 1, but Mr Perrottet admitted the rule was an “impediment” to returning workers.

“I’m meeting with health officials today to go through the roadmap,” he said.

“There are a number of areas within the roadmap that can be looked at.”

He cited getting people back into the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs as a priority.

“It’s important to get people back into town, we want to breathe life into Sydney, we want to breathe life into Parramatta,” he said.

Inside Sydney's ICU ward at St Vincent's hospital.
Inside Sydney’s ICU ward at St Vincent’s Hospital. (9News)

Among those areas, Mr Perrottet said he would “definitely” look at hospital visitation rules, with a number of Sydney hospitals still maintaining bans on loved ones visiting.

“I’ve raised that with (Health Minister Brad Hazzard) already,” he said.

He said priorities would need to be balanced, with compassionate needs measured against protecting the elderly and sick most at risk of COVID-19.

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