Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson
The Liberals’ refusal to mandate safeguards against the high risk of Covid outbreaks from returning cruise ships is the latest example of their reckless public health response.
There is no doubt the arrival of the first internationally-flagged cruise ship in Tasmania in two and a half years presents a significant infection risk for our community.
The Liberals are allowing thousands of passengers from the Pacific Explorer – and around 150 more cruise ships in this upcoming season – to dock without putting in place any protective measures to stop the probable transmission of Covid.
Tasmanians still remember the terrible damage caused by government failures to manage cruise ships in the early stages of the Covid pandemic. It’s happening again, with Western Australia today reporting over a hundred coronavirus cases on board the Coral Princess.
Many Tasmanians are yet to receive their booster vaccination, which provides protection against severe illness. However, even fully vaccinated people have only low protection against Covid infection, as well as the broader damaging health effects of Covid.
Why is the Premier and Minister for Health, Jeremy Rockliff, comfortable letting thousands of international passengers roam freely through Hobart and beyond without requiring any protections? Would it really be so hard to require a negative RAT prior to disembarking, or mask wearing while on shore?
Unfortunately, it seems the Premier is more interested in keeping big business happy than he is in making sure the Tasmanian community is safe for all.