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Motion: COVID-19 Transition Committee

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:00): I move:

That this council requires the Chair of the SA COVID-19 Transition Committee to provide to the COVID-19 Response Committee of this council the complete adopted minutes of all meetings of the SA COVID-19 Transition Committee.

I rise very briefly to note that, since I gave notice of this motion, the committee of this council, which is charged with the oversight of the COVID pandemic, has finally received a complete set of minutes. However, it was not without literally over a dozen requests, legal advice being sought and obtained back on 23 June, and then, while we received a first lot of minutes after some repeated requests and legal advice being sought back in July, it has taken some four months to get the second lot of minutes.

I do not believe it is unimportant that this council, this parliament and the people of South Australia understand the work of the Transition Committee. This is the committee that is charged with the very important job of bringing us through this COVID pandemic, from the health response to the recovery response. This is the committee that decides whether or not our borders are open or closed. This is the committee that decides whether or not we can drink standing up, whether we can dance at a pub, whether a private function means that we can do both of those things—drink and dance—but, should the pub put on its own function, that we cannot do both those things—drinking and dancing.

Many decisions that are made by this Transition Committee go well beyond that, that have seen families separated; that have seen people unable to access health care, employment or education; that have seen curious decisions made, which are informed by health priorities but are balanced with business and commercial priorities, and the South Australian people deserve to know how and why those decisions are made and, most importantly, who is in the room when it happens and who gets access to the Transition Committee.

We know that the AFL has had access to the Transition Committee. We also know that frustrated businesspeople have written to the Premier, asking him to address their concerns, but it is the Transition Committee that is making these decisions and the Premier is not in that room. In the new world, in the COVID normal, we need new standards of transparency to ensure the trust that has got us through this pandemic so far in the good shape we are currently in compared with many other countries, even other states and territories of this nation.

I appreciate that the Transition Committee has now provided its minutes to the parliamentary oversight committee charged with ensuring through this pandemic that process is not lost and that democracy is not diminished. With that, I move to discharge this motion and hope that I never have to bring such a motion before this council again. I move:

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