Parliamentary inquiry is examining the NSS Government’s management of the pandemic and current outbreak


A NSW parliamentary inquiry has been restarted to explore the circumstances of the latest COVID-19 outbreak and its management by the state government – including the handling of restriction and lockdown measures, and how the pandemic will be managed in the future.

In view of the recent outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in NSW, the Upper House Public Accountability Committee has recommenced its COVID inquiry, which first began in early 2020.

It will be holding further hearings into the following issues:

• The circumstances and the cause of the recent outbreak of COVID-19

• How the quarantine and transport protocols in place prior to the recent outbreak were
assessed and set

• Lessons learnt from the transportation of Fed Ex workers

• The steps that have now been taken to ensure that such an outbreak cannot happen again, including any changes to state and national health, quarantine or transport protocols since the outbreak

• The nature and content of the health advice relating to the imposition of additional

restrictions and lockdown, and the timing of such additional restrictions and lockdown

• The future management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the recommencement of the inquiry, the Chair of the committee, Mr David Shoebridge MLC, observed, “The latest COVID-19 outbreak is a public health and economic crisis. The committee is looking for cooperation from the government to understand the circumstances of the outbreak and the steps that have been taken to ensure that it does not happen again.”

“Whilst the committee is exceedingly mindful of not diverting government efforts and resources from containing and suppressing the outbreak, there remains an important and ongoing role for the Parliament in keeping the government accountable for its actions in response to the recent outbreak. The government must be scrutinised for decision-making at this critical juncture.”

The committee will be seeking the cooperation of the Minister for Health and Medical Research, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, and the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant PSM, to appear and give evidence on these important matters before the Legislative Council sits again, currently scheduled for 10 August 2021.

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