Shadow Minister for Health
BILL YAN MLA
GUNNER DELIBERATELY USING COVID TO HOLD BACK NT
Shadow Minister for Health, Bill Yan, says while most states move forward and look to sensibly relax COVID restrictions, the Gunner Government is amping up its COVID controls for its own political gain.
“People who are well and test negative should go to work.
“There must be an immediate full scale review by the CHO of all remaining restrictions including the booster mandate and 7 day quarantine period for people who are well and COVID-negative.
“There is no justifiable reason why the Territory should be held to ransom by Michael Gunner to satisfy his desperate need for relevance and control.
“For 13 consecutive quarters the NT has ranked the worst performing economy in the nation and now we are being left even further behind as NSW, SA, VIC and ACT move to remove vaccine mandates and the 7 day quarantine period for close contacts. Staffing shortages are crippling Territory business and the 7 day quarantine for well COVID-negative people is causing unnecessary chaos. As we move into the dry season – this burden is going to have devastating consequences.
“There must be full public justification by the CHO for why these measures remain necessary but instead – all 6 CHOs have been in hiding. As Territorians suffer under the crippling crime, health and integrity crisis – this Government only wants to talk about COVID. It’s just not good enough.
“It is shocking that as COVID moves from pandemic to endemic, the Gunner Government will use its numbers to ram through unprecedented legislation that will give the CHO two more years of power while there is no longer a state of emergency. If there is no state of emergency, there is no reason for an unelected, unaccountable public official to have the power to force people to sack staff, have medical procedures, search and seize private property and deprive people of their liberty.
“All power requires checks and balances and COVID power is no exception – there must be justification and accountability and if this new legislation passes – the CHO will no longer be required to report to parliament. This is absolute madness. It is not about whether Hugh Heggie is a good bloke. This is about powers reserved for a ‘state of emergency’ being dished out without justification or a rigorous scrutiny process to go with it,” said Mr Yan.
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