Labor welcomes the extension of the timeframe for submissions to the inquiry into the North West COVID-19 outbreak.
Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said it’s the right decision after the belated granting of immunity to public sector workers giving evidence to the inquiry.
“The outbreak in the North West was one of the worst in the country, with one third of Tasmania’s hospitals closed, the military called in, nearly 5000 people forced into quarantine and the extended lockdown in the region.
“Labor called for immunity for public sector workers and – when it was belatedly granted – called for an extension to the submission deadline.
“Now that people know they will have immunity from reprisals, they are much more likely to come forward with evidence that will help Tasmania be better prepared for, and able to respond to, emerging developments with COVID-19.
“These workers should have been given full protection from the start, particularly in light of the criticism and blame directed at them by the Chief Medical Officer and the Prime Minister during the outbreak, based on false information.
“For this inquiry to be meaningful and deliver findings that provide genuine insights, people need to feel safe to provide evidence that clearly sets out what happened in the lead up to, and during, the North West outbreak.
“We want to learn all we can from this inquiry so we can prevent any further outbreaks and keep Tasmanians safe.”
Shadow Minister for Health