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Question: Hotel Quarantine Workers

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:52): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing on the subject of contact tracing and the statewide lockdown.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: The Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide's western suburbs and its employees were accused of forcing the South Australian statewide six-day, then three-day, lockdown in November after two of its staff, who were also working in hotel quarantine, contracted COVID. The restaurant was subject to a police investigation and extensive social media attacks, yet that SAPOL investigation was closed in December with no criminality found and no charges brought against any of the staff.

The lawyer for one of the staff, the Spanish man, solicitor Scott Jelbert of Camena legal, has revealed that he holds grave concerns about the police investigation and is still waiting on a freedom of information request to SA Health regarding his client's interviews with contact tracers, which that lawyer believes show that his client did nothing wrong, speaking to The Weekend Australian this past weekend. Given that the client, according to the lawyer, has limited English and was only interviewed over the phone by SA Health about his working arrangements, my questions to the minister are:

1. Did this man ever lie to contact tracers?

2. Was he only ever interviewed over the phone?

3. Was an interpreter ever employed?

4. On what dates and times was this man interviewed, and for what duration did those interviews take place?

5. When will the FOI be released by SA Health that could clarify this situation?

 

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:54): I thank the honourable member for her question. The facts, as she recounts them, highlights why it would be inappropriate for me to answer. This is a matter that is the subject of a police investigation, lawyers are involved, and it is appropriate that the police investigation and the legal processes be allowed to take their course.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. S.G. WADE: In terms of the specific questions the honourable member asks, I will certainly take them back to the department and, if any of them can be appropriately answered in the context, I will arrange for that to happen.

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