The Labor Party is calling for additional parliamentary sittings during winter to ensure sufficient oversight of decision making in Tasmania.
Labor Leader Rebecca White next week’s sitting of Parliament should allow for the reintroduction of Private Member’s Time and additional sittings should be scheduled during the winter period.
“The initial suspension of the Tasmanian Parliament was regrettable but necessary as members of all parties worked together to keep Tasmanians safe from COVID-19,” Ms White said.
“But there is no substitute for the transparency and scrutiny of Parliament and it is now time to return to more regular sittings.
“With only two sitting days scheduled next week, then nothing until the second half of August, Tasmanian communities will not have a voice in the state’s Parliament or appropriate parliamentary oversight during a time Tasmania is still in a State of Emergency.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis Labor has provided support for the government’s measures to keep Tasmanians safe and the Parliament handed them extraordinary powers to do this.
“But we have always maintained the need for scrutiny of government decisions – that is our job and the people of Tasmanian deserve a fully functioning Parliament, particularly during a State of Emergency.
“I call on the Premier to reconsider the parliamentary sitting schedule with additional sitting days over the winter period.
“The government still has our support to do all it needs to protect public health, but we cannot allow parliamentary scrutiny and transparency to be diminished – they are vital to our democracy.”
Rebecca White MP