NSW election 2023: Brad Hazzard compares former boss Gladys Berejiklian to ‘Mother Teresa’

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Bizarre moment former health minister refers to Gladys Berejiklian as ‘Mother Teresa’ as he’s exits politics after more than three decade

  • Brad Hazzard compares former boss to ‘Mother Teresa’
  • Former health minister was referring to Gladys Berejiklian
  • He said Dominic Perrottet had a ‘hard act to follow’ 

Former Health Minister Brad Hazzard has likened Gladys Berejiklian to Mother Teresa in a bizarre election night interview as he announces his retirement from politics.

Mr Hazzard, who will not contest his seat of Wakehurst in Sydney‘s Northern Beaches, made the comparison as polls for the NSW state election closed.

‘I gotta tell you, I was 100 per cent behind Dom, but when you come off the back of effectively, Gladys Berejiklian, Mother Teresa, she’s a hard act to follow,’ he said. 

‘And then, to actually establish himself, and then be able to do what he needs to do, it’s been very challenging. But I think he’s done a great job.’

Mr Hazzard worked closely with the former NSW premier during the pandemic with the pair becoming familiar faces across the country during Covid press conferences.

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He fiercely defended Ms Berejiklian when she appeared on the front page of a newspaper without a mask during a lockdown coffee run in July, 2021. 

‘Seriously. Taking an opportunity to have a go at the premier’s private life by getting a photo when she was more than double where we are from you now,’ he said. 

‘We know that the health orders are given as a guide to help the community get through what is a very difficult time.’

NSW election 2023: Brad Hazzard compares former boss Gladys Berejiklian to ‘Mother Teresa’

Mr Hazzard, who will not contest his seat of Wakehurst in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, made the comparison as polls for the NSW state election closed (he is pictured on Saturday night)

Mr Hazzard and Ms Berejiklian worked closely during the Covid pandemic (pictured in 2021)

Mr Hazzard and Ms Berejiklian worked closely during the Covid pandemic (pictured in 2021)

Mr Hazzard is just a few days away from retiring from politics for good after serving his Northern Beaches community for 32 years. 

He told Radio Northern Beaches the pandemic had taken a major toll on him. 

‘I think it’s fair to say that after 32 years I may have another four years in me, but Covid really has – like so many people – had an impact on me,’ he said. 

‘The last three years has been more like 10 years. The concept of working again in the Health portfolio – in any portfolio really – is a little too much to cope with. 

‘I always felt that I would never go to an election unless I knew that I would be there for the full four years. But I just wasn’t sure that I had that in me.’

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As of 8pm on Saturday, Independent candidate Michael Regan was in the lead in what is expected to be a tight contest for the seat of Wakehurst. 

As of 8pm on Saturday, Independent candidate Michael Regan (pictured left) was in the lead in what is expected to be a tight contest for the seat of Wakehurst

As of 8pm on Saturday, Independent candidate Michael Regan (pictured left) was in the lead in what is expected to be a tight contest for the seat of Wakehurst

Wakehurst's Liberal candidate Toby Williams (pictured with Hazzard) has secured 33 per cent of the vote, as of 8pm on Saturday night

Wakehurst’s Liberal candidate Toby Williams (pictured with Hazzard) has secured 33 per cent of the vote, as of 8pm on Saturday night

He had already won 51.2 per cent of the two-party preferred vote with 13.1 per cent of the ballots counted. 

Wakehurst’s Liberal candidate Toby Williams has secured 33 per cent of the vote. 

Mr Regan, understood to be popular with locals, pledged to return ‘balance’ to parliament outside polling booths on Saturday. 

‘We need to sort out what’s going on up there, there’s the issue of Lizard Rock locally, private hospital that’s not working, there’s so many things,’ he told reporters. 

‘But broadly, we’ve got gambling reforms which need fixing. There’s a lot happening and I want to be part of that change.’ 

It comes as the Labor Party secures the state election with early indications revealing it will be a ‘landslide victory’. 

ABC election analyst Antony Green said: ‘There will be a change in government’, noting it’s slightly too early to call whether it will be a majority or minority. 

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