About Berejiklian’s Direct Link to the Committee for Sydney

Most Sydney Morning Herald Readers are not buying this from ‘The Committee for Sydney Influencer’  former Berejiklian Staffer, Ehssan Veiszadeh.

Commentators have their say about why Lockdowns are necessary!

-And the fundamental misunderstanding of lockdowns continues.

Lockdowns are there so we aren’t leaving people to die after a car accident, or because they need heart surgery, or because your kid falls off their bike.

We only have so many ICU beds, and spaces in morgues. That’s without the crisis in medical staff.

I would have hoped the SMH would know this, at least, which begs the question – why is this article here?

About Berejiklian’s direct link to Right Wing Think Tank/Lobbyist: The Committee for Sydney

-Wow, you don’t have to be a clairvoyant to see the spin on display here. The LNP want to let the outbreak rip, and they want to open the international border. They want to blame other states and premiers.

-How silly of him to name the media’s rights as privileges.

-This guy cracks me up: journalists find it “hard … to check their privileges,” when they ask the NSW premier hard questions, and he urges the state to open up faster.  Of course, he has no expertise in epidemiology. Maximum privilege. Pot, kettle, black.

-Says it all that this guy, an ex journalist, is promoted to head of strategy and then CEO of a think tank with huge budget and powers. That’s NSW all over.

Can someone please tell me when and why the Committee for Sydney went from being an independent panel that advised government on matters of urban design and planning to being a taxpayer-funded right wing think tank stacked with partners of LNP politicians, cronies and ex-LNP government staffers? Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding biased lobbyists.

-How depressing that mistrust between the government and the public service is considered acceptable. It is reinforced by the implicit criticism by saying that it is only the politicians who are focussing on the ‘right things’.  The public service provides advice; it is the political class that makes the decisions. They are the ones that must be held to account.

-As Bill Bowtell writes in his little tome, ‘Unmasked: the Politics of Pandemics’, pandemics are actually medical crises requiring co-ordinated community action … and then politicians get involved with their agendas muddying the waters. This is what delays, amplifies and extends lockdown; and stops necessary quarantine facilities being built.

-“…Veiszadeh thinks the government just needs to trust the public…” Okay, that idea looks great on paper, but the issue is that it only takes one infected person who decides to game the system, one self-centred ‘freedom’ march, and any progress is totally and utterly undone.

-I totally agree that response-wise it’s all been a day late and a dollar short.
And the LNP… stuck in last year’s thinking… who’d a ever thunk that, eh?

Veiszadeh thinks the Government should just trust the public. That is not a bad approach in normal times, but Delta has shown that the public needs to be explicitly directed, until we get some control back. The risk otherwise , is an overwhelmed hospital system.

-In short, person with enough similar ideologies to the Premier to be in a senior government position, from a right wing think tank wants to open up the State.

Knock me over with a feather.

-Veiszadeh is clearly an ‘open up without thinking of the consequences’ advocate. How can anyone say Gladys just follows NSW Health advice?

If she had she would have locked down earlier and harder, and we may not be at over 1000 cases a day with very little hope of a reduction on the horizon. *

Further, all Veiszadeh seems to focus on is giving ‘freedoms,’ and suggesting retail, gyms and hospitality open without any precautions to guard against super spreading.

-His comments reflect a media advisor with very little if any public policy knowledge. It is politics that has driven Gladys’ response to Delta, and look what a disaster that approach has led to with hospitals in emergency mode and ambulances at a crisis point too.

-Vieszadeh seems to only focus on businesses opening up, it won’t work with cases as high, with vaccination rates not high enough, and no restrictions.

-Frankly how can you have a schools plan that you may not be able to implement due to a high case number, and that you may end up sending teenage kids back to school without vaccination, and little ones with definitely no vaccination.

-I am a parent too and I feel angry and concerned. Online school has been safe and effective.

* I really think the mental health issue and kids is being used by the open-up quickly lobby to push opening up. No real analysis of mental health and kids has been done. Anecdotally most kids I know are very happy.

-I think Veiszadeh has just put things out in this article to give Gladys an opportunity to latch onto them,
and kick some more own goals.

-* I suggest the SMH focus on opinion pieces and input from people like Katherine Bennett, Brendan Crabb, Mary-Louise McClaws, Raina Macintyre and others like them who have a deep knowledge of epidemiology, virology, public health and public policy responses needed to manage a serious virus strain like Delta. We can have a much more informed and useful discussion.*

-The perennial problem where the politicians want to politic for their own advantage but are confronted with a public service that wants to give frank and fearless advice.

-This is one reason why the LNP is reluctant to release any discussion papers – much harder to blame the PS if the voters know the facts.

-“Committee for Sydney, a think tank focused on” … business!

Doherty modelling is very clear. At 70% we can still expect to spend 20% of our time in lockdowns.

Very interesting article in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed journal from the UK.

Comparison of 37 wealthy nations, 5 of which went for effectively an elimination strategy. The elimination strategy wins on 3 measures:

1) fewer deaths (as you would expect);
2) stronger economies; and
3) more personal freedoms – yes, *more* personal freedoms, because restrictions don’t drag on and on and on

Oh, another right wing think tank!

-These “think tanks” are half the problem. It’s just another name for a group of lobbyists.

As far as bureaucracy goes, it barely exists these days. Everything is expensively outsourced to others with vested interests make the decisions. *

The whole system is broken.

-Just the ‘old money’ before people business mantra. When enough people are vaccinated we can come out of lockdown. Whose fault is it that so few are vaccinated? Look no further than the PM. Stop blaming the public.

-Look at the directors and chairman of the think tank he works for.  PwC, the operators of Sydney metro and a NSW government official and other business interests. Of course he would promote their ideas!

-The Committee for Sydney is a right wing, big business backed, political lobby group. Take everything it publishes through the lens of their self-interest, pushing wealth over health.  Happy for others to suffer the”reality” of opening up, safely ensconsed in their mansions .

-“We are funded by a group of Sydney’s leading corporations, government departments and cultural institutions.” This includes the NSW state government and many publicly funded institutions along with corporate members whose interests they represent from Airbnb to Woolworths. https://sydney.org.au/membership/current-members/



Brookfield Australia

Charter Hall

DEXUS Property Group

John Holland Group (Chinese state-owned)


Lendlease Development


PAYCE Consolidated



-Everyone is free to have their own opinion on what matters most during this terrible time, I believe death and illness should be avoided at all costs, but I can’t ring the Premier to try and influence her actions.

Think tank is a polite way of saying lobbyists.

Ehssan is a direct link to the Premier.

Check out who is on the board of the Committee for Sydney.

Gladys’ and Morrison’s decisions are being driven by the coming elections.
Imagine if they only wanted to get the country and people back to whatever normal might be, rather than checking every idea against its effect on a future vote. No hovering, no flip flopping, no Labor versus Liberal ideas, no blame games.

Just the best ideas and policies being utilised.

-Yes let’s open with no kiddies vaccinated, not all NIDS and aged care workers vaccinated, few indigenous communities protected, a disproportionate number of lower income and migrants not vaccinated … it will be all fun and games in the name of freedom.

Not freedom but it is transparently in the self-interest of corporate profits and politics.

About the readiness of Our Health System in dealing with Covid-19 and the Delta variant

-Interesting to contrast this bloke’s attitude with observations of senior ICU nurse Michelle Rosentreter (https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nothing-in-our-studies-ever-prepared-us-for-this-a-nurse-on-sydney-s-frontline-tells-it-like-it-is-20210827-p58mha.html).

-Readiness of Australia’s health system?

Exhibit A: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nothing-in-our-studies-ever-prepared-us-for-this-a-nurse-on-sydney-s-frontline-tells-it-like-it-is-20210827-p58mha.html

Exhibit B: https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2021/08/28/exclusive-states-unable-staff-ventilator-capacity/163007280012361#mtr

-I expect Gladys to have more strategists, marketers, psychologists and such on staff than there would be doctors in regional hospitals. Maybe someone could look into that!?

READ From former Berejiklian Strategist:  Ehssan Veiszadeh