Gladys Berejiklian Reveals What She's Most Concerned About As Restrictions Ease
While coronavirus restrictions have begun easing around the country, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she's still concerned about the impact a second wave of the virus could have on people's health and the economy.
Speaking to The Sunday Project's Lisa Wilkinson, Berejiklian said she's less concerned about the "ferocity" of a second wave but that Australians have been "lulled into a sense of complacency."
"The virus is as dangerous, is as virulent, is as contagious, is as deadly," she said.
"You feel very guilty when you've had to shut down the economy and people have lost their jobs, and that's the balancing act," Berejiklian added of her role as Premier.
If there's a richter scale of my concern, from one out of 10, it would be a 10.
NSW currently has the largest number of confirmed cases of the virus in the country, with a total of 3,075 recorded as of Sunday.
One of the country's worst virus clusters came from the Ruby Princess cruise ship where hundreds of passengers were infected after being allowed to disembark from the ship in Sydney back in March.
But while the saga -- which is now under formal investigation -- has been fiercely debated across the country and finger-pointing aimed at a number of different authorities, Berejiklian said border protection was "a new phenomena" for the state government brought about by the pandemic.
"There's no doubt mistakes have been made during this process and not just on that issue -- quite a few, a lot in NSW and a lot elsewhere," she said.
"That incident did change the federal-state protocols under border protection and what each jurisdiction needs to do."
Asked about how she herself is coping with dealing with the pandemic, the Premier admitted she's now found herself worrying about her own mental health.
"The difficult thing is staying asleep because the mind is always going. I'm making sure that I have time to think," she told Wilkinson.
"I used to say to my colleagues, 'Don't stress unless it's life and death.' In a pandemic, it is life and death."
I never used to worry about my health and mental health but I do now because I have to make a decision that will affect a lot of people.
The Premier also praised the community's response, saying Australians had coped with the pandemic better than expected.
"When we've asked people to do something, they have," she said.
"When people say to me, 'Oh, isn't it great the Government made all these decisions and you have a handful of cases.' I said, 'No, actually, it's because the public responded.'"
"I feel all of us had more in us than we thought. I thought I'm not gong to cope living by myself for five weeks, not seeing my parents and not seeing my sisters."
"But then when you do and you see people around you coping you think wow, we are stronger than we thought."
You can view the full interview with Gladys Berejiklian and Lisa Wilkinson on The Sunday Project in the video above.