Minister resigns after breaking virus rules
Don Harwin, the NSW government minister who was fined $1000 by police after breaking the coronavirus rules, has quit.
Mr Harwin released an unapologetic statement this evening, merely saying he did not want to become a "distraction" for Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"Today I've offered my resignation to the Premier as a minister in her government," he said.
"There is nothing more important than the work of the government in fighting the coronavirus crisis. I will not allow my circumstances to be a distraction from that work, and I very much regret that my residential arrangements have become an issue during this time.
"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."
There are more than 6200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia with 2822 in New South Wales, 1241 in Victoria, 966 in Queensland, 428 in South Australia, 506 in Western Australia, 111 in Tasmania, 103 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory .
The death toll now stands at 54.
Premier welcomes Harwin's resignation
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just reacted to the resignation of her Arts Minister, Don Harwin.
"During this health crisis, my government has asked the community to make greater sacrifices than all of us have ever had to make before," Ms Berejiklian said.
"These sacrifices are saving lives, and I am proud of the people of NSW for continuing to uphold the law in the interest of public health.
"Late last night I was advised minister Don Harwin had been fined $1000 for breaching a public health order.
"The police, who have been tasked by my government with enforcing these health orders, came to the conclusion that minister Harwin breached the order.
"Whilst minister Harwin has served the people of NSW well, and he continues to assure me that he did not break the rules, the orders in place apply equally to everybody.
"Accordingly, minister Harwin has appropriately resigned from Cabinet."