COVID cops to examine John Barilaro’s farm visit
NSW Police will commence inquiries about Deputy Premier John Barilaro after he travelled to his farm despite urging the public to stay home.
Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said he will pursue inquiries about Mr Barilaro's movements.
"After today we will speak to a number of people about it and whether we commence an investigation or not will rely on the information we find out."
"I'm not aware of exactly the circumstances of the Deputy Premier so today I will make some inquiries around that."
Mr Barilaro said in a press conference this week that he had travelled from his home in the Queanbeyan area to his family farm nearly two hours away to ponder whether he should run for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.
On Monday he said he made the decision on the weekend at "the farm".
"I had the opportunity at the weekend down on the farm to build a cubby house with my four-year-old. I had the opportunity to be fun and silly," he said.
This morning Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was not aware of Mr Barilaro's travel but added her government had never put a restriction on how far someone could travel.
"I'm not aware of those details but I will say this, it's important for us to acknowledge that unlike other states New South Wales hasn't put a restriction on how you can travel," she said.
"I will have to look at those details."
She said she will await the police's findings before considering any further steps in relation to Mr Barilaro.
Liberal MP Don Harwin resigned from his role as Arts Minister after he was fined $1000 for breaching health orders by moving to his holiday home on the Central Coast in early April and travelling to and from Sydney.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard also refused to answer questions on the Deputy Premier's travels, lashing out at Labor for "playing politics" at a parliamentary inquiry into COVID-19 and wasting health officials' valuable time.
At a parliamentary inquiry into the COVID-19 response, Labor's Walt Secord asked Mr Hazzard: "Did the Deputy Premier break NSW law by going to his second property 125 km away?"
"I'm not here to play politics and I'm not going to engage with that, that matter is before the police," Mr Hazzard said.
"This is about your government's approach," Mr Secord said.
"You asked the community to do our part. We've changed our behaviour. We don't visit loved ones, we don't visit grandparents. However, the Deputy Premier thinks it's okay to drive 125km to build a cubby house."
Mr Hazzard slammed the line of questioning, accusing Labor of wasting time.
"The chief health officer has given up two and a half hours of her time where she has been working anything up to 24 hours a day to actually keep people safe, and all you're interested in politics.
"I'm very very disappointed and I don't intend to pursue it any further."
This morning Ms Berjiklian said she expected her ministers to focus on work when she was asked about colleagues Andrew Constance and Mr Barilaro.
Mr Constance yesterday quit his short lived bid to run for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro and claimed it came about after The Daily Telegraph revealed Mr Barilaro had called him "a c**t".
"My expectation is that every member of my team has their head down working during some of the darkest time of our state's history."
She said her colleagues will continue to have her support as long as they work hard but refused to reprimand their behaviour.
"The people of NSW expect me and my government to focus on them."
Originally published as COVID cops to examine John Barilaro's farm visit