Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Confirmation the Government has begun planning to use Hobart City Hall as part of COVID management is yet another example of how unprepared they were for the state’s border reopening.
We understand plans to secure the City Hall as a health facility are only in the very preliminary stage, yet we are in the midst of an epidemic with cases rising. This sounds like unplanned and unprepared.
Premier Gutwein’s government opened the borders in denial of the high risk of Omicron contagion and the predictable consequences of its rapid spread of COVID in the community.
The Greens support any step necessary to keep the health system functioning, but ask the question for Tasmanians – why is the Government not fully prepared after two years, and why be secretive about its plans?
Information about the repurposing of facilities for health use around the state is only being uncovered through questions asked by journalists. Every Tasmanian has made sacrifices to keep our community safe over the last two years, and it is galling the government doesn’t respect people through honest and up front communication about how the COVID epidemic is being managed.
For months ahead of border reopening, the Greens, healthcare workers, and unions raised concerns about the government’s planning to slow the spread of infections and readt the health system to handle the COVID epidemic. The government ignored and dismissed most of these concerns as irrelevant, but this has proved not to be the case.
The Premier refused to act on the problems raised by health care bodies, and it is not surprising Tasmania’s already strained health system is not coping with the load of COVID cases.
With planning starting for the use of City Hall, the Health Minster should factor in the knowledge and concerns of frontline health staff to make this space work safely and effectively.