The Informer: The mic drop no-one saw coming

You'll be seeing less of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian from Sunday.
You'll be seeing less of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian from Sunday.

Who expected it? Seriously, who had a Gladys mic drop on their COVID bingo card?

While you were studiously crossing off the usual culprits (you know them - can I just say, come forward, the mildest of symptoms, thanks for your patience), the NSW Premier issued the most Gladys of mic drops ever.

Not your self-assured Obama-like incarnation and nothing like the Eddie Murphy version in the movie Coming to America, it was all very apologetic, but at the same time not. It was, let's face it, very Gladys.

"From next week - I don't know how this will be received - but the 11am information will be done by health staff through video link, and myself and [Health Minister Brad Hazzard] will intermittently hold press conferences as required," Ms Berejiklian said.

Safe to say, the Premier, her communications staff and most everyone knew how it would be received. It didn't take long for "gutlessGladys" to be trending across social media platforms.

That the announcement came on the same day as the state's second 1500+ infections a day mark was hit and, sadly, another nine people died, is quite odd.

Of course, there's a natural end to events, even a daily press conference, it just seems quite a bizarre step to take after spending much of the past two weeks warning the public we're approaching the "worst day ever" peak of the Delta outbreak. Delegating that news seems like the biggest of all hospital passes.

The government, Ms Berejiklian said, would continue to "present to the community on a needs basis". But the daily info, after Sunday, will be delivered by video.

So no more journos shouting over the top of each other and definitely no realtime questioning of any information. Ms Berejiklian today said her government "prides itself on having the most transparent information available", and no doubt that'll keep being delivered by state-employed talking heads.

"We have to make sure we have something important to say and I think people understand the messaging," she said before (invisibly) dropping the mic.

Which brings us nicely to a turn of events in NSW that prompted a few questions last year: the Ruby Princess. Remember the inquiries? One in NSW, one in the Senate? The criminal investigation? Yup - transparency all the way.

Anyway, it was decided today the Ruby Princess class action can still include passengers from the US and the UK. The case does not involve the state government but rather Carnival plc, the time charterer of the vessel, and Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, the owner and operator of the vessel.

Also on the transparency theme, the federal government launched a fresh defence of its $90 billion JobKeeper scheme, in the face of ongoing claims it benefited profitable big businesses.

Also in other news, Queensland will reinstate border bubble arrangements with NSW from 1am Monday; Victoria hit an outbreak high mark of its own today; and HSC exams will proceed as planned in NSW from November 9.

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This story The mic drop no-one saw coming first appeared on The Canberra Times.