Rebecca White MP 
Tasmanian Labor Leader
Labor Member for Lyons

Shadow Minister for Federal State Relations

Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment

Shadow Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events

Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Regional communities are the heart and soul of Tasmania.

Whether you live in Sheffield or Sorell, Bridgewater or Bicheno, the wide open spaces, safe streets and friendly neighbours you find in small towns and local communities make them great places to raise families.

I want regional communities to thrive. I have the energy and vigour to drive growth for regional Tasmania.

Now more than ever, people throughout Lyons need job security, better transport – more buses and better roads – and better access to services.

I want parents to raise their children secure in the knowledge there is a future for their community.

We must work harder to support our towns’ small businesses and our farmers who are the lifeblood of regional Tasmania.

It is important that Tasmania continues with improvements to water infrastructure with the aim of making Tasmania Australia’s food bowl.

This is a program I fully support. It offers great opportunity for communities throughout Lyons.

The rollout of the NBN will help connect us to the world and provide new ways for communities to engage with Government, private enterprise and each other.

As someone born in Lyons and raised on my parents’ farm ‘Redbanks’ in Nugent I know the issues that confront regional Tasmania.

I have built my own home in the electorate and have a personal stake in ensuring the concerns of country people are heard, listened to and acted upon down in Hobart.

Rebecca White

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Tasmanian jobs must come first

  • Missed opportunity to prioritise Tasmanian workers
  • Changes to essential workers process don’t go far enough
  • All workers granted exemption from quarantine should be tested

Premier Peter Gutwein has failed to put Tasmanian jobs first by missing an opportunity to overhaul the essential workers process.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said changes to the process announced today are acknowledgement by government that the process has not been as robust as it should be, but do not go far enough.

“Peter Gutwein has now brought in the Department of State Growth to add another layer of review in the assessment of applications.

“But there’s still no guarantee that people are not flying in to the state to do jobs that could be done by Tasmanians.

“The Premier has also dismissed calls to test every worker coming into Tasmania to make sure they are COVID free.  

The Tasmanian community expects the Government to do everything it can to make sure Tasmanian workers get first opportunity for work, especially after nearly 20,000 people have lost their jobs.

“The Premier of Tasmania should be standing up for Tasmanian jobs, and standing up for public health. That means overseeing a process that means nobody enters the state on a quarantine exemption unless they are genuinely an essential worker and they have a test to prove they aren’t COVID positive.”

Protecting Tasmanians Has to Come First

In these precarious times, protecting Tasmanians has to come first

From the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, the focus for us all has been on keeping Tasmanians safe.

With an older and more vulnerable population, early action was needed to save lives and prevent the virus from taking hold here. And, even with the introduction of strong border controls, we saw how quickly it can take off, with the outbreak in the state’s North West causing so much pain and hardship.

One of the few positives to come out of the pandemic has been seeing Tasmanians came together and take the precautions needed to get on top of the virus and keep our communities safe, putting our state in an enviable position.

But, as we all watch with growing alarm as the situation interstate worsens, it is clear that there is no room for complacency – we only need to look at Victoria to see how rapidly this virus spreads and how fast conditions can change.

That’s why we need to make our processes as strong as possible – to do all we can to keep COVID-19 out of the state and ensure we don’t see the same thing happening here.

With no active cases in Tasmania, the decision to keep our borders shut to all but essential travellers until at least the end of the month is understandable. But that alone is not enough to protect us from what is happening just across Bass Strait.

As people continue to come into the state every day, protection of public health is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain and troublingly we are seeing too many weak links right now.

Over the past few weeks, concerns have been raised with us about numerous issues relating to arrivals into Tasmania and the potential for a second wave here. Weak points have been identified at various stages of the process.

Among the glaring examples, passengers have been transferred from ports and airports on crowded buses, with no provision of personal protective equipment, and the transfer of passengers from buses to hotel quarantine has been badly managed, with the potential for mingling between passengers and members of the public.

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Rebecca White

Authorised by Lindsay White, 276 Masons Road, Nugent, 7172