NSW MP Resigns After Being Caught At Holiday House
NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin has resigned after being issued with a $1000 infringement notice for staying at his holiday home on the Central Coast and breaching coronavirus restrictions.
In a statement on Friday, Harwin said he offered his resignation to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"There is nothing more important than the work of the government in fighting the coronavirus crisis," he said.
"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."
Harwin maintained he had acted "in accordance" with public health orders but acknowledged the importance of perception at the current time.
In a statement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian acknowledged Harwin's belief he had acted in accordance with the state's health orders, she said the rules are "in place to apply equally to everybody".
"Accordingly, Minister Harwin has appropriately resigned from cabinet," she said.
Berejiklian commended the NSW public for following the following the strict rules that had been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"During this health crisis my government has asked the community to make greater sacrifices than all of us have ever had to make before," she said.
"These sacrifices are saving lives, and I am proud of the people of NSW for continuing to uphold the law in the interest of the public health."
NSW Police issued a $1000 fine to Harwin on Thursday after it was revealed he had been staying at his holiday home at Pearl Beach, which is more than an hour's drive from his east Sydney primary residence.
Commissioner Mick Fuller said the restrictions are in place to protect the lives of NSW residents.
"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," he said in a statement.