Covid ‘tyrant’ Brad Hazzard breaks down on live radio after FINALLY announcing his retirement from politics after 32-year reign
- Brad Hazzard announced Monday night that he is retiring from politics
- He fought back tears describing the toll his brother’s death had taken
- He also revealed that he was subject to death threats and required police escorts
- Hazzard said former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian was ‘absolutely unbelievable’
NSW Health Secretary Brad Hazzard fought back tears as he spoke about his decision to retire from politics following the death of his younger brother.
Hazzard announced Monday night that he would not contest another four-year term in the next state election.
He had spent 32 years in politics, including more than a decade on the front bench of the cabinet, and was the… member for Wakehurst on Sydneythe northern beaches.
Mr Hazzard, 71, is best known for fronting press conferences on a daily basis to keep NSW informed about the Covid crisis, along with then Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian and chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant.
“The past three years have been pretty awful for everyone,” he told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Tuesday morning.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard (pictured with his wife) fought back tears as he spoke about his decision to retire from politics following the death of his younger brother
“A personal situation came up earlier this year where my younger brother died, and I just thought, ‘You know what? Gotta start thinking about life.”
The health minister shed tears discussing his brother’s death, before adding that he had led a “happy life”.
But because he was the face of the Covid pandemic, Mr Hazzard became a target for many who disagreed with health restrictions, with the health minister admitting he received death threats.
He also said he was under police protection for a “long period”.
“I had to have police around me all the time when I left the house, and I had security in my house for a long, long time, so it wasn’t very pleasant,” he said.
“But we’ve all been through the most challenging times, three years of what has been a one-in-a-hundred-year pandemic and people have responded in different ways, and we just have to accept that it’s part of the human experience.”
Mr Hazzard was regularly seen at the side of Ms Berejiklian at daily Covid briefings, speaking about her resignation after she was embroiled in an ICAC investigation.
Mr Hazzard said it was one of the ‘saddest’ days of his life when Gladys Berejiklian was forced to resign as Prime Minister
“She was absolutely incredible,” he said.
“It was one of the saddest days of my life when circumstances forced her to resign from her position—terrible.
‘It is outrageous that the assessment body is taking so long to clarify this.’
Mr Hazzard added that he and Ms Berejiklian’s successor Dominic Perrottet are “great friends”.
When announcing that he would be leaving politics behind, Mr Hazzard said the health minister had been “the best and worst times”.
The worst times came with Covid-19. When the pandemic started, we braced ourselves for an expected 25,000 deaths in NSW in the first year,” he said.
“There were many anxious nights. What followed was a grueling and deeply disturbing time when quick decisions had to be made to try and protect 8.5 million people from the virus.”
Brad Hazzard (pictured right with NSW Premier Dom Perrottet) said Mr Perrottet and him were ‘great friends’
The best times, he said, were working with “incredibly talented medical and non-medical staff in our health system” and delivering nearly 200 new hospitals and health facilities.
“This period of political life has been very demanding,” he said.
“As my staff pointed out, Victoria has had four health ministers at that time, and Queensland and Tasmania three.”
Mr Perrottet described Mr Hazzard as a “tireless and dedicated advocate for people throughout our state.”
“Our state is a better place thanks to Brad’s significant contribution,” he said.
“Our state has undoubtedly benefited from Brad’s invaluable experience, commitment and advice during the pandemic and beyond.
Brad’s legacy is a health system that every other state in Australia would envy, with investment and support at record levels.