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Gutwein dodges scrutiny on government’s COVID-19 response

  • More scrutiny of Government’s COVID-19 response needed
  • Premier not across details or unwilling to share
  • Tasmanians deserve better

Today’s Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Accounts Inquiry meeting into the Tasmanian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted an alarming need for more parliamentary scrutiny.

Shadow Treasurer, David O’Byrne, said the Premier failed to answer basic details relating to the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today’s meeting was a deeply concerning display of lack of government transparency and an alarming start to understanding the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“The Premier should have been able to answer every question asked of him but was instead either not across the detail or not willing to share it. 

“Instead, Peter Gutwein’s response to any scrutiny of the government’s response to COVID-19, in particular the North West outbreak, was to palm it off to Director of Public Health or the State Controller. 

“We’re in the middle of a State of Emergency that has impacted every single person in Tasmania – there is absolutely no excuse for the Premier not to be prepared to answer basic questions relating to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tasmanians have every right to expect more from their Premier, and to be questioning his and his government’s ability to manage Tasmania’s pandemic response moving forward. 

“There is a need for scrutiny of government decision making – all politicians owe it to Tasmanians to do our job comprehensively, particularly during a State of Emergency.

“We cannot allow parliamentary scrutiny and transparency to be diminished – they are vital to our democracy.”

The Premier has form with avoiding providing answers to the PAC, we were hoping for a change, but this is the same old Peter Gutwein.”

David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Treasurer