Aussie State MP Contracts CCP Virus, NSW Parliament Impacted

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
June 23, 2021 Updated: June 23, 2021

An Australian politician has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, as the spread of Sydney’s Bondi cluster impacts the New South Wales (NSW) state parliament.

NSW Parliament is suspended after the state’s Agriculture Minister tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, and Health Minister Brad Hazzard is also in isolation.

Marshall dined at Christo’s Pizza situated in the Sydney suburb of Paddington on Monday night with Nationals colleagues Trevor Khan, Steph Cooke, and Ben Franklin.

The four Nationals MPs also attended a party room meeting in parliament on Tuesday morning.

Epoch Times Photo
NSW MP Adam Marshall at a press conference at Parliament House in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 22, 2020. (Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

“This morning just after 8 a.m. I was formally advised by NSW Health that I had returned a positive test for COVID-19,” Marshall said in a statement on Thursday.

“I have been in isolation in Sydney since late Tuesday night, when I received a text message from NSW Health,” he said.

NSW Greens MP Adam Shoebridge on Thursday said the parliament was “a bit of a mess.”

“[At the moment all staff are to stay home and the [Legislative Assembly] has a delayed start,” he wrote on Twitter. “But things may change if more close contacts are identified. Hoping that Adam Marshall is ok despite Covid diagnosis.”

Meanwhile, NSW Government Whip Adam Crouch issued an update on Thursday morning to colleagues to “stay put” and not leave the parliament if they were already there.

“Please ‘stay put’ until you receive a further update later this morning. If you are currently in Parliament House, remain in Parliament House. If you are not in Parliament House, remain where you are,” the notice read.

The parliament will operate on a skeleton staff on Thursday with just enough MPs to pass the budget before it’s suspended.

Epoch Times Photo
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks at a press conference before receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine at at St George Hospital in Kogarah in Sydney, Australia on March 10, 2021. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Health Minister Brad Hazzard also revealed he is self-isolating after being exposed to a potential case at Parliament House.

Hazzard admitted it “was likely” other MPs could be affected and told Channel Nine he stands next to Premier Gladys Berejiklian every day.

“I think the premier is fairly safe,” he said.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns told Sydney radio 2GB he would postpone his budget reply speech.

“All sides agree now is not the time for politics … we need to get through what is a very difficult health situation in Sydney,” he said.

The news of the outbreak in the state’s Parliament comes as Sydney has been dealing with an emerging cluster of the Delta variant of the coronavirus that originated with a limousine driver who authorities believe contracted the virus from an international flight crew.

The driver visited several venues in the popular Bondi Junction area, including a cinema and cafes, resulting in 31 others contracting the virus.

NSW is likely to report more COVID-19 cases on Thursday but Hazzard played down fears that Sydney is on the brink of a lockdown, ahead of the school holidays.

“I don’t believe that we will go into a lockdown,” he said.

“The advice is that’s not necessary so we will take that advice,” he told ABC Radio Sydney.

However, on Wednesday the premier warned “the NSW government will not hesitate to go further and harder if we have to.”

Berejiklian also urged people to “abandon non-essential activities” after introducing new rules for residents in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour.

This means upcoming school holiday plans are impacted as residents in several local government areas are restricted from travelling outside those zones. This measure was implemented in an attempt to contain the virus and stop it from spreading into regional areas.

New rules were also introduced, including a household guest limit of five—including children—and a four-square-metre rule for indoors and outdoor gatherings, alongside mandatory masks in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces.

NSW Health issued more alerts for COVID-19 exposure sites at a range of venues at Darlinghurst, Double Bay, Bondi Beach, Bondi Junction, Narellan, Meadowbank and the Sydney CBD.

Overall, there were 16 new cases reported on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to 31.

Eight of the 13 additional cases were at a birthday party attended by about 30 people in West Hoxton on Saturday, which NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant described as a “super-spreader event.”

Residents who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas cannot travel outside the metropolitan area unless it’s absolutely essential.

Masks must also be worn to gym classes, which are now limited to 20 people.

Other states have also hardened their borders days before NSW public schools break for two weeks.

AAP contributed to this report. 

Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au