Government secrecy over Ruby Princess link to COVID-19 outbreak

Tasmanian Labor
  • Government
    trying to sweep Ruby Princess debacle under the carpet
    • Tasmanians
      deserve to know who made the final call
    • Government
      secrecy is appalling

    Peter Gutwein is refusing to
    be honest with Tasmanians about the clear breakdown in decision making that led
    to the COVID-19 outbreak on the North West Coast.

    Explosive revelations
    emerged in Budget Estimates this week that Biosecurity Tasmania staff
    identified the risk of passengers from the Ruby Princess entering Tasmania but
    were told to allow them in without quarantine.

    Shadow Minister for Primary
    Industries, Shane Broad, said this was a devastating mistake and Tasmanians
    deserved to know how the decision was made and who made the final call.

    “Biosecurity officers
    identified the risk of Ruby Princess passengers entering Tasmania without
    quarantine on or around 19 March,” Dr Broad said.

    “The passengers were held in
    an airlock at the airport while advice was sought on what action to take.

    “Ultimately the call was
    made to allow the passengers to disembark and go home. They were not given PPE, they were not health checked
    and they were not required to quarantine.

    “It is crucial to note that
    this incident occurred after the declaration of a Public Health Emergency and
    after the Federal Government mandated that international arrivals self-isolate
    for 14 days.

    “Tasmanians deserve to know
    why the government failed to trust the instincts of Biosecurity Tasmania staff
    on the frontline.

    “Government secrecy over these alarming chain of
    events is appalling and no one is taking responsibility with multiple Ministers
    passing the buck.

    “This outbreak claimed the lives of 13 Tasmanians and the government owes it to them to be open and transparent so we can learn from this and prevent it happening again.”

    Shane Broad MP

    Shadow Minister for Primary Industries

    /Public Release. View in full here.