Government needs to take responsibility for flawed process

Tasmanian Labor
  • Essential worker exemption process doesn’t add up
  • Interstate workers flown in when skills available locally
  • Government doesn’t have a plan to protect Tasmanian jobs
  • Labor is calling on the government to step up and take responsibility for the exemption process allowing interstate workers to enter the state to do jobs that could be done by Tasmanians.

    Shadow Minister for Building and Construction Jen Butler said the government has failed to take responsibility for protecting Tasmanian jobs.

    “We know that more than 20,000 Tasmanian jobs have been lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1,200 of these in the construction sector alone.

    “Information released under Right to Information laws show exemptions are being given where skills would be readily available in Tasmania, including construction workers, bricklayers and electrical technicians.

    “The government has been passing the buck on this process, when it should be putting in place a high threshold to protect Tasmanian jobs. There is no defence for bringing a worker from interstate when the job can be done by a local.

    “At the same time, these workers pose a risk to public health. They should be subject to a mandatory test on arrival and be quarantined until they get a result. Government’s failure to tighten up that process means those exempted from quarantine can go straight out into the community.

    “The government needs to step up and take responsibility for a process that isn’t protecting the health or jobs of Tasmanians.”

    Jen Butler

    Shadow Minister for Building and Construction

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