Territory Stories

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




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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 8357 Some good stories have come out of that. I thank the people working in that facility. They had to deal directly with people who could come through the pandemic clinic with Coronavirus; to some extent there will always be a risk when dealing with that. Looking at the way it has been managed, Attorney-General, we obviously have an excellent Department of Health and a great Chief Health Officer and Deputy Health Officer. I know there are lots of other people. I am very grateful for people likethis is not a political thingGreg Hunt, the Commonwealth Minister for Health, Peter Dutton and Brendan Murphy the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer. When this was occurring in Howard Springs a lot of the advice they gave us was what we needed to assure the community that there were no risks if this was done properly. It was done properly. I thank those people while I have the opportunity. Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, I support this bill. Mr McCONNELL (Stuart): Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, I support this bill and its urgency. Referring to protecting frontline workers from the offensive and unacceptable behaviour of spitting and using that spitting as a threatcongratulations to the government for bringing this forward on urgency so quickly. I think it is a very good thing. We need to protect all frontline workers so that they know we are here for them. It is great that the legislation extends to protecting people working in supermarkets et cetera. I take the opportunity to thank the people exposing themselves to risk to keep our shelves stocked, our cash registers working, our streets safe and those who do emergency responses to accidents and incidents. I sincerely thank them and know that my constituents sincerely thank them as well. In the press conference after the National Cabinet meeting the Territory was again acknowledged as being in a very strong place. We are in a very strong place. All Territorians have done that together. As the Leader of Government Business pointed out, 40-odd Territorians let us down. But all in all we have done a stellar job. We need to stay the course together; together we are stronger. We will get through this if we continue to work on it together. I supported all of the lockdown measures the Chief Minister advocated for and implemented, including the closing of the borders and biosecurity regions, which was supported by land councils and Indigenous health organisations. All of those things are great. As a government we said that we will compulsorily make you go into quarantineclearly I think the legislation supports us being able to do thatand then make you pay for it. I am worried and would like to get a bit of discovery on that and whether we have done it lawfully. Do we not have the legislation to back up We are going to make you quarantine and we are going to make you pay for it? It appears to me that is the case from the way this amendment is drafted. If we are making those statements I am concerned that we do not have the laws to make them up. That type of thing erodes trust, so it is important that we get the messaging right, we know what we are talking about and our plans are lawful. If we need to change laws we have the instruments to do that, we are doing that in an extraordinary session of parliament to change laws to make lawful the things we need to enact. I am interested in that. I agree that the Police Association has been very positive about advocating for this response to spitting and other unacceptable behaviour. I am sure that lots of the other unions and industry groups will be very positive about it. We need it. I agree that potentially it could be looked at as a broadened issue within the Criminal Code Act because biosecurity hazards exist for hepatitis and other things as well as Coronavirus. They are all worth considering. I thank Territorians; we have done well. We are leading the nation. Let us stay on course with that leadership. Let us work together and not involve ourselves in name calling. Let us remember that we are all in this together and together we are stronger. Mrs LAMBLEY (Araluen): Mr Deputy Speaker, I will make some comments about the amendment to the Public and Environmental Health Legislation Bill 2020. The members of Territory Alliance were briefed on this legislation yesterday. As a group we support what the government is doing. There is really no debate. These changes are required and they enable the government to respond to the unique situations that have arisen since the pandemic has changed our lives.

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