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Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020



Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020

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Parliamentary Record 27


Debates and Questions for 13th Assembly 2019 - 2020; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Debates and Questions

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Friday 24 April 2020 8342 Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: We should not be referring to people leaving the Chamber. So please withdraw those comments. Ms FYLES: I withdraw, Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, and I apologise. Members interjecting. Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Leader of Government Business, you have the call. Can the people on the left keep the noise down, please? Ms FYLES: I am outlining to Territorians why as a government we are not supporting the suspension of standing orders. The Leader of the Opposition asked us to suspend our businessthe Public and Environmental Health Act, which is important business. The Chief Minister is in, or just concluding, Australian National Cabinet. This is the first time, apart from war, that we have seen the National Cabinet stood up. They, along with the rest of us, have been taking the advice of our public health experts. Last night, Professor Brendan Murphy briefed me, as the Minister for Health, and every other state and territory Health minister. Yes, there is good news. We have done well and managed to keep Coronavirus cases in Australia to less than 7000I think it is about that figurediagnosed. We have done an amazing job. But the risk is still there and it is very real. I point to Tasmania. Those opposite do not like to listen to the professional health advice that I am trying to explain to them. I will give them a real example. One personone casein a hospital has shut down that region in northern Tasmania. Thousands of people are in very strict quarantine. In fact, the Northern Territory has sent representatives Mr MILLS: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 35: relevance. I draw your attention to the arguments being put forward. They are not arguments substantiating why there cannot be urgency. Ms FYLES: We are not even talking about urgency, we are talking about the suspension of standing orders. The Coronavirus crisis needs to be the focus of this parliament, not a petition from the Leader of the Opposition. We have had 28 cases in the Northern Territory, with none currently in intensive care. Seventeen of those people have recovered; we wish them and the remaining cases well. Almost 4000 tests have been completed by our public health officers. Completing the tests was no easy feat. We had to get the tests done across vast areas of the Territory and get them to Darwin for the results. Over 6000 compliance tests have been conducted. I acknowledge our police officers, the Australian Defence Force and Border Security who have been out there in the heat and dust. Have you seen the photos? They have been dealing with bugs, flies and insects and living in conditionswe have been trying our hardest to get resources. They are out there, literally locking down our borders in some of the most remote parts of the world. More than 250 people have been in mandatory hotel quarantine. The people opposite are looking in surprise at all these figures. There have been 1600 border arrivals with exemptions and 42 infringement notices issued. People around the Territory are working to keep Territorians safe. We have public health professionals, doctors and nurses in our intensive care unitsthey just shake their heads and nod at us like I am going on about something trivial. They have been practising how to turn ventilated patients over. But you do not even care; you just want to bring your petition in here. When I talk to the point of why this government does not support the suspension of standing orders, you act like it is some trivial issue. The Coronavirus crisis is real. We have done an amazing job in the Northern Territory, but we must not become complacent. That amazing job is the people in our communityevery single Territorian, apart from the 42 who have been issued with an infringement notice. It is the nurses, doctors, public health officials, police officers, community members, rangers and everybody listening to the advicethe people who have gone home and are staying home in communities because they know it is the safest place for them. It is the people who have given up their everyday lifeno sporting activities for our children.

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