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Workers Submitting to NW Inquiry Need Protection Guarantee

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Saturday, 25 July 2020

Tags: COVID-19, North West Tasmania, Health

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The opening of submissions for the Independent Inquiry into the NW outbreak is welcome, but the government must guarantee protection for all workers who provide input.

This Inquiry is an essential component of Tasmania’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Our state is currently in a good situation regarding control of the virus, but with the pandemic escalating in other states and globally we should learn all available lessons from our past COVID experience.

We need meticulous scrutiny of the conditions that resulted in the serious North West outbreak, which requires full and frank accounts from those directly involved. This will not occur if workers are worried there could be repercussions to their job security for speaking up.

The ability to provide an anonymous submission is not sufficient protection for workers concerned about legal or workplace actions that could follow against them as a result of their testimony. Even with anonymity, some staff from this small community may be identifiable by their position, or their involvement in particular situations.

If the Gutwein Government is serious about this Inquiry being comprehensive and effective, it needs to take on board the serious concerns of unions and workers and guarantee legal and workplace protection to all staff who make a submission to this process.