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NSW Arts Minister resigns after Coronavirus lockdown breach

NSW Arts Minister resigns after Coronavirus lockdown breach
April 10, 2020

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin has resigned after being fined $1,000 for breaching the ban on non-essential travel due to Coronavirus.

Having been reported for visiting his second residence at Pearl Beach on the NSW Central Coast, Minister Harwin’s resignation was accepted by NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.

With Governments around the country urging people to stay home over Easter, Harwin was spotted earlier in the week at his Pearl Beach house, more than an hour’s drive from his east Sydney primary residence.

Harwin maintained he sought formal advice that his living arrangements complied with the direction for people to stay at home, and that he acted in accordance with those orders.

However, releasing a statement where he said the controversy over his getaway was a “distraction” for the NSW Government at a critical time, Harwin advised “there is nothing more important than the work of the government in fighting the coronavirus crisis.

“I will not allow my circumstances to be a distraction from that work and I very much regret that my residential arrangements have become an issue during this time.

The NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller has advised that further investigations will follow, alleging there was photographic evidence of another person in the holiday home.

NSW Police Officers spoke with the 55-year-old on Thursday and fined him after they were alerted to the fact he had relocated to the Pearl Beach holiday home “in contravention of current ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.”

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