The Project's Lisa Wilkinson slams 'confusing' Sydney Covid lockdown

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As Greater Sydney buckles down for a third consecutive week of lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases, one of the hosts of The Project, Lisa Wilkinson, has taken aim at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The veteran journalist and TV personality called the MP out for causing 'confusion' amongst the public after refusing to declare the lockdown a 'lockdown' when the initial restrictions rolled out in late June.

Lisa Wilkinson wearing a black top and red earrings on The Project on July 8, 2021
The Project host Lisa Wilkinson has taken aim at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian amid Syndey's ongoing Covid lockdown. Photo: Channel 10.

'Sydney is confused'

Instead, Sydneysiders were issued with a 'stay-at-home' order, with Lisa claiming Gladys "never adopted a stance that made it look like she was taking this more seriously than Dan Andrews was".

"I think everybody in Sydney is confused as well," Lisa told co-panelists Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly and Tony Armstrong via video link on Thursday night.

She went on to say that, in her opinion, NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke had 'summed it up' when he pointed out that authorities and the public should have a clear idea of 'what compliance looks like' after dealing with the pandemic for the past 18 months.

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"But right from the beginning of this, Gladys Berejiklian was refusing to call it a lockdown and that was the most important moment of communication.

"We all knew, and still know, that the Delta variant is so much more transmissible and she never adopted a stance that made it look like she was taking this more seriously than Dan Andrews was, but she had every reason to."

A close up photo of The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales giving a COVID-19 update at a media conference in the suburb of St Leonards on July 06, 2021 in Sydney, Australia
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a COVID-19 update on July 6, 2021. Photo: Getty Images.

'Has to be fixed'

Lisa noted how PM Scott Morrison previously deemed the NSW Premier's approach to lockdowns the 'gold standard' among other states and territories.

"She had the Prime Minister at the same time saying, 'Gladys is the gold standard of how you do these sorts of lockdowns', and so Sydney has kind of been confused.

"It's no surprise to anybody that the [NSW Covid case] numbers are the way they are."

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Peter Helliar jumped in to back up Lisa's comments, saying that his friends living in Sydney were struggling to understand the state's complex and rapidly changing directives.

"The word I'm hearing a lot from my Sydney friends is 'confused'. Whether they're confused or there's a sense of confusion in the community," he said.

"This has to be fixed as communication is so important in a context like this," Waleed Aly added in agreement.

On Wednesday, Gladys announced that the state's two-week lockdown would be extended by another week through to 12:01am on July 17.

NSW recorded 38 new locally acquired Covid cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, 11 of which had been infectious in the community.

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