House debates

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Questions without Notice

Tasmania: COVID-19

2:29 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for the question. The Treasurer will add further to the answer, as he has done a sensational job working with all state Treasurers to ensure we're delivering record levels of support, including in states that have not had to go through the significant lockdowns that we've seen in New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and, from time to time, Queensland and South Australia. Indeed, Tasmania has done an outstanding job. I commend Premier Gutwein for the great job he's been doing with his government throughout the COVID pandemic. I'm pleased to advise the House that he's in much better health and will be returning to work soon—I understand he may even be there already, from my engagement with him over the last few days. I thank members for their interest and concern in the Premier's wellbeing.

The most important thing that can happen in Tasmania to ensure tourism businesses, orchards and other agricultural producers can access the workers that they need to progress their businesses, and for hospitality venues to get their staff back and all of those things, is support for the national plan. I want to thank Premier Gutwein for his support of the national plan, despite there being very low levels of COVID—virtually no levels of COVID—in Tasmania. He's been so supportive of the national plan. He's been particularly supportive because in Tasmania 60.9 per cent of Tasmanians have had a first dose of the vaccine and 43.7 per cent of Tasmanians have had a second dose. That is in a state that has got such a low level of COVID. There have been issues with hesitancy in states that have had low levels of COVID, where they feel perhaps the virus may not come to them or communities that are remote. But the fact is that in Tasmania they've been rolling up their sleeves. They've been doing a terrific job in ensuring that their vaccination program has maintained the pace and strength that it has. I will ask the Treasurer to add further.


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