Message from the Secretary of DPC Tim Reardon


Update to the NSW Public Sector on COVID-19

23 March 2020


The past week has seen a series of fast-moving responses to COVID-19,aimed at restricting its spread in the community - to protect our health.

As foreshadowed last week, these are a series of graduated steps to thin out our social interactions to slow the spread of the virus.

The measures include:

  1. Limit of 500 people at non-essential outdoor gatherings
  2. Limit of 100 people at non-essential indoor gatherings
  3. A requirement for 4 square metres per person at every non-essential gathering
  4. A shutdown of certain non-essential venues
  5. Restrictions on visitations to aged care facilities
  6. Restrictions on access to certain remote communities
  7. A ban on travelling to Australia except for returning Australians
  8. Self-isolation for 14 days for anyone entering our country
  9. Ongoing advice about essential travel only within Australia
  10. Ongoing advice about personal hygiene steps.

In addition, schools in NSW remain open. However, the Government is encouraging parents and carers to keep their children at home, for practical reasons. Now is the time for people in the public sector to enact their flexible work arrangements where practical, if you have not done so already.

In practice this means many of our frontline people will still undertake their jobs at their workplaces and can send their kids to school, while others can help thin out demand on our services, by working from home.

Each of these steps has been based on health advice and has been accepted by every state and territory and the Federal Government. A national cabinet was established just over a week ago, and it has made rapid and far-reaching decisions which are nationally consistent.

There may be even further steps - all to protect us.

These measures have been implemented by NSW Public Health Orders and Commonwealth powers. They will be (and have already been) enforced by NSW Police and other relevant agencies. Their success relies on everyone doing the right thing.

To coordinate the NSW response, both the Public Health Emergency Operations and the State Emergency Operations Controller have been co-located.

The response is being run out of the Rural Fire Services Operations Centre. The very place which for more than six long months has incredibly dealt with a bushfire response like we have never seen before. It is the obvious place to deal with this crisis - it has the right DNA and culture.

We continue with delivery of hospital services of course, emergency services, shops and shopping centres, transport, schools, workplaces, law enforcement and courts, universities, drought response and bushfire recovery amongst others. These will continue to be required to keep society moving. Priorities for our community.

The economic stimulus announced over the past week from every state and territory and the Federal Government is about keeping business moving andkeeping people in jobs, until we get to the other side of this crisis. That is the absolute focus.

Our NSW Treasury continues to coordinate its efforts with the Federal Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the retail banking sector. Every effort is about keeping the economy moving for the next six months while the health response requires us to minimise the spread of the virus. An incredibly challenging balance to achieve - but public safety and health is paramount of course.

This will be an extraordinary few months. It requires unprecedented responses.

For us, it requires the NSW public sector leadership to step forth andlead our frontline teams through in a calm and measured way. Our people deserve everything we can provide, right now.

Everyone plays a role. Everyone seeks help when needed. Everyone looks after each other. Everyone delivers our services to play our part - and to sustain that effort for the six months ahead. Tough ask indeed, but we ask it of each other regardless. It is the very reason we joined the service.

More updates to come,

Tim



Update to the NSW Public Sector on COVID-19

23 March 2020


The past week has seen a series of fast-moving responses to COVID-19,aimed at restricting its spread in the community - to protect our health.

As foreshadowed last week, these are a series of graduated steps to thin out our social interactions to slow the spread of the virus.

The measures include:

  1. Limit of 500 people at non-essential outdoor gatherings
  2. Limit of 100 people at non-essential indoor gatherings
  3. A requirement for 4 square metres per person at every non-essential gathering
  4. A shutdown of certain non-essential venues
  5. Restrictions on visitations to aged care facilities
  6. Restrictions on access to certain remote communities
  7. A ban on travelling to Australia except for returning Australians
  8. Self-isolation for 14 days for anyone entering our country
  9. Ongoing advice about essential travel only within Australia
  10. Ongoing advice about personal hygiene steps.

In addition, schools in NSW remain open. However, the Government is encouraging parents and carers to keep their children at home, for practical reasons. Now is the time for people in the public sector to enact their flexible work arrangements where practical, if you have not done so already.

In practice this means many of our frontline people will still undertake their jobs at their workplaces and can send their kids to school, while others can help thin out demand on our services, by working from home.

Each of these steps has been based on health advice and has been accepted by every state and territory and the Federal Government. A national cabinet was established just over a week ago, and it has made rapid and far-reaching decisions which are nationally consistent.

There may be even further steps - all to protect us.

These measures have been implemented by NSW Public Health Orders and Commonwealth powers. They will be (and have already been) enforced by NSW Police and other relevant agencies. Their success relies on everyone doing the right thing.

To coordinate the NSW response, both the Public Health Emergency Operations and the State Emergency Operations Controller have been co-located.

The response is being run out of the Rural Fire Services Operations Centre. The very place which for more than six long months has incredibly dealt with a bushfire response like we have never seen before. It is the obvious place to deal with this crisis - it has the right DNA and culture.

We continue with delivery of hospital services of course, emergency services, shops and shopping centres, transport, schools, workplaces, law enforcement and courts, universities, drought response and bushfire recovery amongst others. These will continue to be required to keep society moving. Priorities for our community.

The economic stimulus announced over the past week from every state and territory and the Federal Government is about keeping business moving andkeeping people in jobs, until we get to the other side of this crisis. That is the absolute focus.

Our NSW Treasury continues to coordinate its efforts with the Federal Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the retail banking sector. Every effort is about keeping the economy moving for the next six months while the health response requires us to minimise the spread of the virus. An incredibly challenging balance to achieve - but public safety and health is paramount of course.

This will be an extraordinary few months. It requires unprecedented responses.

For us, it requires the NSW public sector leadership to step forth andlead our frontline teams through in a calm and measured way. Our people deserve everything we can provide, right now.

Everyone plays a role. Everyone seeks help when needed. Everyone looks after each other. Everyone delivers our services to play our part - and to sustain that effort for the six months ahead. Tough ask indeed, but we ask it of each other regardless. It is the very reason we joined the service.

More updates to come,

Tim