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Community Leaders Should Support Public Health Advice

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 20 August 2020

Tags: Health, COVID-19, Democracy, Community Safety

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

It is the responsibility of community leaders to support the advice of public health officials. It is important in ensuring the ongoing safety of all Tasmanians in this ongoing pandemic.

Especially now, we need to be focussed on unifying our community, given the many pressures and anxieties people are experiencing.

Elected members and other public figures have every right to ask questions about our COVID-19 response – scrutiny is an essential component of democracy. We urge all people in leadership positions, however, to use their platform responsibly.

The relative safety of our island home did not happen by accident. Tasmania’s response, guided by expert public health advice, took us from a serious outbreak to being envied the world over. You don’t have to look far afield to see how much worse things could have been.

While Tasmania is in a good position, we can’t be complacent. It is crucial we continue to listen to public health experts, and understand the very real risks associated with failing to do so.

Some recent comments by Labor members have been disappointing, and appear to be undermining the advice of public health experts.

There is a real risk the community’s trust in – and compliance with – public health advice could be undermined if all leaders do not continue to take it seriously. The potential consequences of this have been tragically demonstrated in Victoria.

Community leaders play a significant role in our ongoing COVID-19 response. It is our responsibility to support the decisions made by public health experts, not dilute the public safety message.