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Treasurer takes swipe at rival’s hair

    The new NSW Treasurer has accused the Opposition Leader of being “all hairstyle, no substance” as state parliament resumed its work on Tuesday.

    With new leadership teams on both sides and having spent months away from the chamber, MPs appeared to be spoiling for a fight.

    Labor leader Chris Minns, who has taken a less adversarial tone against the government than his predecessor did and frequently praised their pandemic response, was not rewarded for the courtesy in his first showdown with the new Treasurer.

    NSW Treasurer Matt Kean attacked the Opposition Leader. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer

    NSW Treasurer Matt Kean attacked the Opposition Leader. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer

    Matt Kean used a question from a Liberal colleague about his plans for economic recovery to launch into some cutting remarks about Mr Minns and his hairstyle.

    “While we’ve been keeping the people safe and keeping the economy going, what’s Chris Minns been talking about? His mullet,” Mr Kean said.

    He was referring to tweets and remarks from Mr Minns, who took over the Labor Party leadership shortly before the lockdown, about his desire to get his locks cut off after restrictions eased.

    Both Mr Minns and Premier Dominic Perrottet invited media to take photos of them as they got their first haircuts since the lockdown began in late June.

    Chris Minns in the barber’s chair. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

    Chris Minns in the barber’s chair. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

    Mr Kean did thrown in a compliment on Mr Minns’ hair however, calling his new do “magnificent” and adding: ”I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious”.

    Mr Kean went on to say that Mr Minns was “unburdened by beliefs” and accused him of playing politics instead of talking about policies.

    “It’s all politics and no policy … in fact, the politics are even working for the government – he’s killing us with compliments,” Mr Kean said.

    NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet getting his hair cut at Barberhood men's hair stylists on Monday. Picture: Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

    NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet getting his hair cut at Barberhood men’s hair stylists on Monday. Picture: Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

    The question time missive came after Mr Kean and Mr Perrottet announced an expansion of a support package for businesses hit hard by lockdowns.

    Businesses with turnover between $75,000 and $50m will be able to apply for $20,000 grants to compensate for perishable stock lost as a result.

    “These measures will give businesses and workers confidence to purchase stock and invest for the future knowing their doors will remain open as we get our economy firing again,” Mr Perrottet said.

    Small businesses will also be able to claim up to $2000 to pay government fees and toll costs.

    Mr Minns said the toll support wasn’t enough.

    “We are the most tolled city on earth and now we have a 100 per cent privately-owned toll road monopoly right here in Sydney … (the support package) will run out in June, but these tolls will be in place forever,” he told reporters.

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