Education Minister Sarah Courtney is on holidays while Tasmanian parents, students and teaching staff face the uncertainty of COVID entering schools with no plan from the Liberal Government.
The Premier’s office has today confirmed Ms Courtney is on annual leave just three weeks from the school year starting while families and staff scramble to get details about what preparations have been made – if any – to keep them safe when COVID inevitably enters Tasmanian classrooms.
Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said it was beyond belief that Ms Courtney would be missing in action at such a critical time for the Tasmanian education system.
“Parents, teachers and students are extremely concerned about COVID entering schools and they want assurance from the Minister responsible that they will be kept safe,” Mr Willie said.
“They want to know what preparation the government has undertaken to ensure that safety.
“But now we know why there has been silence and blatant deflection from the government on this important issue – because the person who is supposed to be steering the ship has gone on holidays.
“There is nothing wrong with taking annual leave but in times of real concern like this, those elected officials charged with ensuring every measure is being taken to get Tasmanians through this uncertain period need to be on the job.
“Premier Peter Gutwein needs to answer important questions to assure school communities – first and foremost, will he call Ms Courtney back to work to get the job done or will he continue to deflect and refuse to answer important questions about school COVID safety?”
Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years