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Why won’t Rockliff stand up for Tasmania?

Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff clearly has no intention of demanding additional health funding from Canberra as Tasmania enters the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shadow Health Minister Anita Dow said Mr Rockliff was either incapable or unwilling to provide the Morrison Government with a true picture of the state’s health and hospital system which is already under intense pressure and would reach breaking point if Tasmania experiences a COVID outbreak.

In Mr Rockliff’s absence on this critical issue, Ms Dow said she had written to Prime Minister Morrison to outline the on-going crisis in Tasmania’s hospitals and plead the case for increased federal funding as the state faced the threat of exposure to the COVID delta strain.

“The Premier has said that when Tasmania re-opens and travel increases, delta will arrive,” Ms Dow said.

“But Mr Rockliff is not acting to ensure our health system is equipped to cope by demanding Canberra step in and help.

“In the Parliament yesterday, Mr Rockliff could not say if he has had discussions or even corresponded with the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and that’s a clear sign that he is prepared to accept the Commonwealth’s response so far, which he himself described as less than satisfactory.

“Our health and hospital system is already in crisis and without additional resources, it will be stressed to breaking point if there is a delta outbreak.

“Mr Morrison has been clear that this COVID preparation work should have been done 18 months ago.

“It’s well beyond time for Mr Rockliff and the Liberal Government to stand up to their federal colleagues on increased health funding and on other critical issues like the dud GST deal they signed with Canberra and funding for the $580 million Launceston General Hospital masterplan on which they have made, at best, a token effort.”

Anita Dow MP  
Shadow Minister for Health