NSW Arts Minister Resigns After Breaching Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Laws

Written by Emmy Mack on April 12, 2020

NSW is currently without an Arts Minister after Don Harwin stepped down due to getting caught out violating the state’s COVID-19 lockdown laws.

Despite the NSW Government’s public health order banning all non-essential travel, the MP was snapped by reporters at his holiday home in Pearl Beach on the Central Coast.

Harwin copped a $1000 penalty infringement notice for leaving his home without a valid reason on Thursday (April 9th), admitting he’d been working from his second residence for several weeks.

“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 pollie said (via the ABC).

“I took advice from my department officials about the Public Health Order to ensure I adhered to the guidelines during this period.

“While I was assured I was compliant with the guidelines I apologise to the Premier and the people of NSW.

The debacle follows strong messaging from the state’s government telling would-be tourists not to attempt to travel to regional NSW over Easter, and encouraging locals to “dob in a tourist” to Crime Stoppers.

In a statement, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said nobody was above the law.

“Police have been given these powers to ensure the community spread of COVID-19 — which we know is devastating communities across the globe — is minimised,” he said.

“You only need to look at the statistics to see that people are dying where appropriate measures have either not been established or are ignored. No one individual or corporation is above these laws — anyone suspected of breaching the orders will be investigated and if a breach is detected, they will be dealt with in accordance with the act.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has accepted Harwin’s resignation.

For all the latest news on Coronavirus, check out our Coronavirus 2020 Feed.

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