Harwin reinstated as State Government Minister
Mr Don Harwin has been reinstated as State Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts.
Mr Harwin resigned from Cabinet on April 10 after being fined $1000 for self-isolating at his holiday home in Pearl Beach, instead of his primary residence in Sydney.
Mr Harwin said he would contest the fine, but the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the matter in Gosford Local Court on July 3, and the case was dismissed.
Premier Ms Gladys Berejiklian described the "court decision" as "clearing Don Harwin of breaching Covid-19 restrictions in April 2020".
She said he would be reinstated to his former positions in the NSW cabinet.
"Mr Harwin's decision to resign from cabinet was appropriate when he received an infringement notice in April 2020, but now that he has been cleared, it is appropriate that he return to cabinet.
"Mr Harwin has always assured me that he did not break the rules.
"Following media reports about Mr Harwin's property disclosures, the Department of Premier and Cabinet has confirmed that Mr Harwin made the relevant disclosures appropriately," she said.
At the time, Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch and Labor's Shadow Arts Minister Mr Walt Second were reported in Peninsula News criticising Mr Harwin's actions.
Mr Second said: "We are all in this together and we have to stick to the strict rules to protect the community.
"Social distancing is about saving lives; Mr Harwin is not above the law."
The same day, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Mr Adam Crouch said he welcomed confirmation from NSW Police Commissioner Mr Mick Fuller that he would investigate the matter.
"The message is simple and it applies to everyone, no matter what your job is," Mr Crouch said.
"Go home and stay home."
Ms Berejiklian said at the time that she felt "very passionately" about protecting the State's citizens.
"I regret and apologise to everybody that someone from my team undertook this activity and the perception is not good.
"I am deeply disappointed."
Mr Harwin said in April: "At all times I have sought to act in accordance with public health orders and I sought advice that my living arrangements complied with those orders.
"I remain confident that I have acted in accordance with those orders.
"I know, however, that perception is just as important during these times."
Media release, 3 July 2020
Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier