Upper house

Don Harwin will surrender after 23 years

Just three months after leaving the NSW cabinet, Don Harvin get away from politics. The former Minister of Arts and Gladys Berejiklian ally will announce his “retirement” from Parliament on Friday.

During his long 23-year parliamentary career, Harwin served as Speaker of the Legislative Council for six years and as a minister for five.

He is expected to deliver his notice of resignation to the governor on Tuesday.

“It’s time to go, I’m more and more attracted to opportunities outside of parliamentary life,” he said. “It’s the right thing to retire and be replaced by a new member willing to contribute to public life.

The outgoing members of the upper house are replaced by parties during a joint session of the two houses without the need for a by-election. Harwin was among a core group of MPs who helped rebuild the Liberal Party before it returned to government in the 2011 election. He was also lambasted in 2020 after he was photographed at his Pearl Beach vacation home at one point where the rest of the state was under stay-at-home orders. Harwin has always maintained he did nothing wrong and said he moved to the beach house for health reasons several weeks before the lockdown was enforced.

In his role as Arts Minister, he oversaw the state’s monumental arts capital programme, including Sydney Modern and the Ultimo and Parramatta power stations, and helped prevent the Theater Royal from being turned into a playground restoration.

Harwin said he leaves “immediately satisfied with the legacy of what I have accomplished and the legacy I leave, particularly in the arts, and I look forward to the next chapter of my life. “. He is expected to pursue board opportunities in the arts and non-profit sectors.


Sydney, Brisbane: Prepare for another war on the waterfront. The owners of the famous Catalina restaurant in Rose Bay are lawyers and are heading to court in a bid to prevent a trademark attack on a bar on the Brisbane rooftop using the Catalina name.

The McMahon family who founded Catalina – the waterfront haunt and confirmed cafeteria of Sydney movers – are now suing restaurateurs Stefano de Blasi and Ross Ledingham in a name dispute after the couple opened their South Brisbane cocktail bar in early February. From Blasi are one half of the cousin duo behind the supplier and restaurant empire Salt Meats Cheese which has outposts in Drummoyne and Cronulla as well as South East Queensland. Meanwhile, Ledingham is part of the Icatha (ICATHA) host group. The couple’s so-called South Brisbane Catalina Rooftop features a 30m infinity pool, daybeds, lobster thermidor on the menu and ‘Whispering Angel rosé galore’. Marketing materials take aggressive selling even further. “No passport is necessary, our Mediterranean paradise offers an unparalleled experience.”