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Motion: Covid-19 Response Committee

3 May 2023

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. R.A. Simms:

  1. That a select committee of the Legislative Council be established to monitor and scrutinise all matters relating to the management of the COVID-19 response including:

(a) government responses to outbreaks or emerging threats;

(b) public information campaigns;

(c) prevention and mitigation measures;

(d) implemented restrictions and safety measures;

(e) vaccination programs;

(f) infection testing;

(g) contact tracing;

(h) treatments;

(i) interactions with other jurisdictions;

(j) advice provided to the state government;

(k) impact on specific demographic groups;

(l) learnings from previous responses; and

(m) any other related matters.

  1. That this council permits the select committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the committee prior to such evidence being presented to the council.

(Continued from 22 March 2023.)

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I want to thank all members for their contributions and for their support in establishing this committee. I have spoken previously about the genesis of the committee and the process leading up to the establishment of the joint parliamentary committee. One of the key recommendations that the parliamentary committee made was that there be an ongoing committee of the parliament to look at the implications of COVID outbreaks, to look at what we have done previously, but also to look at the response of government, so I am pleased to see that this committee will be reconstituted.

As someone who has had COVID-19 twice, I am very interested in seeing what we can do to try to stop the spread of this virus, as I know all members of parliament are.

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: Wear a mask.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I hear the Hon. Mr Hunter say, 'Wear a mask.' He is a great advocate for that and I should be inspired by his example. Obviously, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to try to eradicate this virus, and I am sure this committee will play an important role in terms of reviewing the government response. With that, I conclude my remarks and thank members for their support.

Motion carried.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I move:

That the select committee consist of the Hon. E.S. Bourke, the Hon. L.A. Henderson, the Hon. J.E. Hanson, the Hon. B.R. Hood and the mover.

Motion carried.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I move:

That the select committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to adjourn from place to place and report on 28 June 2023.

Motion carried.