The Labor Party commends the Premier for the measures announced today in response to the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said while the full health impact of the coronavirus had not yet hit Tasmania, the economic impact had.
“The necessary steps taken to protect Tasmanians against this virus have had a devastating financial impact on individuals, families and businesses.
“Thousands of people have lost their jobs and many businesses will struggle to remain viable with the introduction of measures aimed at reducing social contact.
“These people are struggling to pay bills and have waited too long for relief. The measures announced today will help ease the impact on individuals, households and businesses by limiting their exposure to a range of expenses.
“These measures will put cash in the pockets of small business, freeze power and water bills for households and make sure that no one is faced with eviction during this crisis.
“We need to do everything we can to ensure that people aren’t put in precarious positions. That means as this situation evolves, we will need to put additional support measures in place to keep pace with what unfolds.
“Faster action is needed from the Federal Government to resource the system that’s supposed to be providing advice and support to Australians in extreme need.
“There is no excuse for not throwing every resource at this to save people from ending up in poverty and homelessness.”
“I again call on the Federal Government to introduce a wage subsidy to help workers remain employed.”
MS White said we must now prepare our health system and support our health workforce for an influx of coronavirus cases over coming weeks.
“We’ve been focusing rightly on economic security but we have to remember why all of this is happening. There is a health emergency facing our state.
“It’s vital that every Tasmanian looks after themselves and supports the rest of the community in the effort to slow the spread of the virus.
“The message can’t be any clearer: if you can stay home, stay home; if you can work from home, work from home; if you are in a high-risk group, stay home.
“We know the full health impact is yet to hit us, which is why it’s important that every possible support is provided for people to stay home to save lives within our community.
“Every Tasmanian who can stay home, must stay home. People’s lives depend on it.”