Labor Leader Rebecca White has called on the government to introduce mechanisms to ensure accountability and transparency around decision making during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
Ms White said Labor continues to support measures taken by the government to keep Tasmanians safe from COVID-19, but there must be transparency for the community especially while the operation of State Parliament is suspended.
“Labor has given our full support to the Government’s emergency measures and the suspension of parliament during this pandemic,” Ms White said.
“But the suspension of parliament means the loss of traditional transparency measures such as Question Time, and the loss of the ability to scrutinise decision making through debate on legislation and other forms of the House.
“I wrote to Peter Gutwein two weeks ago, asking him to introduce measures similar to caretaker conventions to ensure the opposition is briefed on major policy decisions during this period, before they are implemented.
“Such a mechanism would be a gesture of goodwill, and would also provide the best opportunity for us to present a united front at a time when the community is crying out for clear leadership and unified action.”
“Labor recognises the need for transparency in decision making and supports the role of the Subordinate Legislation Committee in this process.
“But we recognise that the Committee may need to function differently during this pandemic, with open meetings, increased frequency of meetings, and with consideration to broadening its scope to scrutinise all Orders issued by the government.
“The Labor party stands willing to return to Parliament to work on behalf of the community or to look at ways Parliament can be convened remotely, similar to local government meetings, if that’s possible.
Ms White restated the Labor Party’s support for any action taken by the government in the interests of protecting public health.
“Our shared goal is to save lives and protect as many people as we can from this insidious threat.”
Rebecca White MP