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Premier Must Listen to Health Advice Over Industry Lobbyists

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Health, Tourism, Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The Premier is right to be concerned about a second wave of coronavirus disease. Other countries that relaxed restrictions too quickly have learnt this lesson in a most tragic way, not only through lives lost but also the collapse of businesses.

It is the right thing for Tasmania to march to the beat of our own drum. Our priority now is to protect people’s lives, and ensure the sacrifices already made in jobs lost will not be in vain.

Recent comments by tourism, hospitality and racing lobbyists pressuring the Premier to tailor Tasmania’s COVID-19 recovery to suit their businesses at the expense of public health are dangerous.

Their demands are not even in the best interests of the workers they claim to represent. Instead, their rush to open borders and remove all restrictions would put staff jobs and the wider Tasmanian community at risk.

A rush to open our borders risks inflicting much greater economic damage on Tasmania’s tourism businesses and employees than they already confront. Based on cruel experience elsewhere, a second wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths would be very probable if we rush this period.

The last thing tourism, hospitality and racing operators need is to be shut down again. That would also be inevitable if Tasmania were to get a second wave of COVID-19, and it could be a fatal blow to businesses that survived the first stage.

We encourage the Premier to continue listening to Public Health advice, not the old boys’ club who have been used to directing Tasmanian governments for decades. Now is the time for unity in Tasmania.

Those calling on the Premier to restart industries outside of public health advice, including the Labor Party, should look to the best interests of their whole state. Their demands would put people’s lives in danger and their own industries at further risk.