NT chief minister mistakenly referred to individual at centre of COVID cluster as sex worker

By Jackson Graham

Thursday November 11, 2021

Michael Gunner
The content has since been corrected. Michael Gunner. (AAP Image/Aaron Bunch)

Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner and his office have apologised for a social media post that incorrectly stated a sex worker caused Darwin’s latest COVID cluster. 

Gunner’s post, which stressed the individual “should not be judged” for their work, expressed frustration that they had not been forthcoming with information about their profession earlier. 

“The contacts are considered at a higher risk of being infected than standard close contacts,” the post stated. 

But the information turned out to be factually incorrect. A statement from the NT government said the information had not been approved by the chief minister before being published to his Facebook page. 

“The chief minister and his office unreservedly apologise for the publication of this incorrect information and any hurt or distress that this caused,” a statement to the ABC said. 

The situation was rectified when Gunner’s office became aware of the error and the content has since been corrected. 

The woman, 21, had spent four days in Victoria and time in Adelaide in late October, Gunner said last week. 

She flew back to Darwin via Cairns on October 29 and remained in the community for about seven days. 

The woman has been fined $5,024 for breaching COVID directions, and was moved to mandatory quarantine at Howard Springs. 

The outbreak grew to three and triggered a lockdown in Katherine.


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