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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

Health Minister Hazzard evasive on Byron COVID case

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This morning, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard spoke to journalists about the current COVID situation, including the man tested positive in Byron Bay.

During what has become Gladys Berejiklian’s daily press conference, the Premier said that tragically, there were three deaths related to the Delta strain until 8pm last night.

Ms Berejiklian said that Canterbury-Bankstown remains the central area where COVID is spreading, with cases still increasing. ‘We have seen stabilisation and substantial decline in areas like Fairfield, so communities that are responding to the health orders and responding to what we’re asking them to do are seeing a decline in the local government area. Pleasingly, there are no additional cases in Armidale and no additional cases in Tamworth.

‘The North Coast is investigating one potential additional case but that’s not linked to the gentleman in Byron Bay.’

Mixed messages

When NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard spoke he gave mixed messages about reasonable excuses to leave home and was evasive about the man who tested positive for COVID in Byron Bay.

‘People know what is right and what is wrong,’ he said. ‘And we expect people to do the right thing.

‘Clearly, the rule is now that you shouldn’t just travel from one house to another just for the sake of moving to the other house. You should choose the property you’re living in and stay there.

‘But I have to say that no matter what legal orders or legal requirements are in place, you just can’t legislate against stupidity, arrogance and entitlement.’

Mr Hazzard was specifically asked about the man who travelled to Byron Bay. He responded, ‘Yeah, well, all I’m prepared to say about our traveller to Byron, is that the police are looking extremely closely at what he was doing in that area. And I trust the police will be able to take appropriate action in due course.’

Mr Hazzard was then asked if under the current restrictions, inspecting a property in Byron was legal. He said that there are matters where one has to be a little bit cautious. ‘I’m not going to prejudice, either the police investigations, or the police actions…

The forces of the law are coming after you

‘There are other communities, other people from other backgrounds, who don’t seem to think that it’s necessary to comply with the law and who don’t really give great consideration to what they do in terms of its impact on the rest of the community. And I would say to them, you really need to, because otherwise the forces of the law are coming after you.’

Mr Hazzard was asked if it was true that the man was not open with authorities about where he had been. One journalist said it’s been reported he’s ‘not a believer in COVID’ as such.  ’Is he refusing to cooperate, is that the case?’

Mr Hazzard said he was very conscious of the fact that when police are undertaking investigations, they should be allowed to complete those investigations. ‘Hopefully, any activity that might have been inappropriate or illegal will be dealt with by the police and the courts.’

The minister was then asked if it was true that the man was not cooperating with NSW Health and that he tried to leave hospital last night. ‘I’m not prepared to comment,’ said Mr Hazzard.

Every individual should comply with NSW Health

‘Except to say, that every individual should comply with [NSW] Health. When Health ask you questions it’s to try and save you and your family and your friends and your community. So… you should actually be very open with with them. As to police, well, if the police have come after you, it’s for a reason, generally, and at that point all I’ll say is that we should leave the police to their investigations.’

Mr Hazzard was asked about the contact tracing and the snap lockdown – ’Is it frustrating that you don’t know where the COVID exposure sites are, so you’ve got North Coast communities in the dark, not knowing when they close contacts? Also, why was the North Coast put into lockdown with only one hour’s notice?’

The Health Minister responded, ‘If we declare an area that’s going to go into lockdown or an area of concern, we can expect that there’ll be a lot of people who will do the right thing and come out and want to be tested. So we need to make sure that we’ve covered off on all of those aspects.

Sometimes the risk comes from the unknown

‘But at the end of the day, when we’ve weighed all those things up and we think there’s a real risk, and sometimes the risk comes from the unknown…

‘I’m not indicating that this is the case, but if for example we were dealing with someone who was not cooperating and not giving us the information we needed, then you could imagine that the government would move more quickly in that situation to make sure we locked down as fast as possible to keep safe.

‘Can I also say that any of those situations, in regard to Northern Rivers, we also talked to the local community representatives, and so I spoke to each of the three MPs up there as well as others, and they are across the political spectrum, and they were very very keen to see their community safeguarded by moving to a fast lockdown. I think that explains it sufficiently,’ said Mr Hazzard.

There is no news yet about the man’s children who were travelling with him.


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  1. I would like to know why I cannot find anybody who would give us the Pfizer vaccine. For three months I have asked to be vaccinated and was offerred Astrazeneca.

    have a phobia to the side effects of Astrazeneca. Why can’t we be given a choice? If it gives me a blood clot, there will be no recource only death!

    • Stop being a wuss and get vaccinated . You have no chance if you get Covid. Which is likely if you are in the Byron Shire atm.
      Unvacinated people can spread the virus at 9 times the rate of a fully vaccinated person.

  2. The community has the right to know details of accommodation and real Esate agents etc visited by these persons. Anyone who accepted this person a paying client from a Sydney hot spot and did not insist on appropriate check ins are risk to us all and we deserve to be informed of those not following guidelines $$$ talks. I want to avoid these places to protect myself and my community.

    • Pfffft…99.3 % of cases go straight thru you and many many times people don’t even know they’ve had. Well done you’ve been successfully gaslit..

    • Microchip this idiot for life so his movements can be traced . Cancel his drivers license and charge him with attempted murder.
      This case will case deaths and cost the Northern Rivers millions in lost income and lost jobs.

  3. Has there ever been a more incompetent NSW Health Minister than our current ‘Hazardous Brad’. The FAIL of NSW Regional Hospitals, the FAIL of the early days of the Northern Beaches Hospital, the FAIL over Ruby Princess, the FAIL over Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Newmarch House. His personal FAIL when he was very quick to lay into the Limo driver and blaming said driver for igniting the Bondi Covid cluster despite the driver having broken no laws or rules because Hazardous Brad was negligent in his duty in putting into law the required Health rules for Limo drivers. And when it was revealed ( by journalists ) that senior year students from a private school ( St Josephs, Sydney ) all received Pfizer vaccinations ( it was meant that Indigenous students only, a handful in number, were to be given Pfizer vaccination ) our Hazardous Brad bit back hard with his unglamourous retort, “It was a mistake, So what. Move on” as he ran away from the assembled press corp. As the Tokyo Olympics were in action he frequently dumbed down the Covid issue by likening Covid to an Olympic athlete – Covid the high jumper, Covid the long jumper, Covid the marathon runner. A Health Minister is meant to take Health issues seriously and message accordingly. How Hazardous Brad has remained in his job is beyond comprehension.

  4. I bet the selfish idiot who is in now in Lismore Base with COVID now believes that it does exist. So he was looking at properties. We certainly don’t want morons like him moving into our area. Hope the police give him the heaviest penalty that they can.

  5. …don’t forget…Hazardous Brad who divided the community by making FLUORIDE a mandatory supliment to our drinking water supply…yeah…thanks Brad…yr not to be trusted..

  6. If he is looking for real estate in our area than he’s cashed up enough to pay back the NSW tax payers footing the bill for lock down.


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