News, media releases

Government still has no COVID plan

  • Gutwein fails to deliver COVID plan
  • Government has no plan for jobs
  • 70% of Tasmania’s tourism workforce on JobKeeper 

A vague indication today by Peter Gutwein that borders could open sooner than the 1 December timeframe comes without any sign of a plan to manage COVID.

Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said the Premier’s own advisory council called for immediate action two months ago, but Tasmanians are none the wiser.

“It’s vital that Tasmanians understand the pathway out of this pandemic and that the government is clear on its plan to manage and respond to COVID.

“The impact of uncertainty on Tasmanians and Tasmanian businesses was highlighted by evidence today to the Public Accounts Committee.

“Every witness who appeared today called for greater clarity around government’s plan to manage COVID, and emphasised the importance to Tasmania’s economy of JobKeeper, and the need to extend and expand it.

 “Michael Bailey, from the Chamber of commerce and Industry, said without the expansion of JobKeeper, Tasmania will face new massive job losses.

“Tourism chief Luke Martin talked about the ‘dramatic’ impact on the sector, with 70 per cent of the workforce currently on JobKeeper.

“Tourism operators are desperate for clarity and for confidence, especially in light of the looming wind back of JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

“And it was clear from evidence from Chris Griffin from Visit North Tasmania that there’s been little or no direct engagement with public health to co-design a safe return to normal operation, and preparedness for any further cases of COVID in Tasmania.

“That means tourism businesses have not only been unable to plan for returning to something like normal operation, but also that some significant community events have been cancelled that may have been able to proceed.

“We’ve heard nothing from Peter Gutwein on his plan to manage the social and economic fallout that will follow.

“The Liberals have no plan for jobs and no plan for COVID. Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package sets out a plan to get Tasmanians back into jobs, support those hardest hit by COVID and build a better, fairer Tasmania.”

David O’Byrne
Shadow Treasurer