Gladys Berejiklian is open to Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks going ahead, but says it will be different from what Sydneysiders are used to.
The NSW premier says she hopes Sydney will be able to have its famous harbour fireworks spectacular as her government focuses on what the state can do amid the pandemic.
“I’d like to see it go ahead in a COVID-safe way if we can manage that,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
“If it does proceed it won’t be like every other year with crowds everywhere.”
The premier flagged the state was heading in the right direction as coronavirus case numbers in Victoria gradually drop.
“Given where we could have been, given where we are in NSW … our worst fears have not materialised but the threat is there,” she said.
“I ask everyone to, rightly so, be optimistic about the future and where we are heading.”
It comes as NSW recorded 17 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday including one in hotel quarantine, 15 linked to known clusters and one where the source is unknown.
Of the new cases, eight are linked to the Sydney CBD cluster associated with the City Tattersalls gym, bringing the total number of cases in that cluster to 49.
Six of the new cases are linked to St Paul’s Catholic College in Greystanes including one student at Girraween Public School.
The number of cases linked to the college is now 10, with the source of that outbreak still under investigation
Both western Sydney schools remain closed.
Meanwhile, the premier says she hopes to have a discussion with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk about border issues.
“I hope she takes up my offer to have that conversation,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Palaszczuk is adamant she won’t be pushed into changing her stance on the state’s hard border closure with NSW.
But Ms Berejiklian says there has been no communication on the issue between the premiers.
“I’ve tried to establish a positive relationship but it’s a bit difficult when decisions are made without them even telling us,” Ms Berejiklian told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.
“Can I be absolutely frank? She has made a decision and isn’t willing to talk about that decision and is refusing to budge.”
In contrast, Ms Berejiklian said she had worked co-operatively to resolve border issues with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
On Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian announced an easing of the state’s border permit system with Victoria to re-establish a 50km border buffer zone from Friday.
“The three of us worked together on a very difficult decision on the Victoria-NSW border,” she said.
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