The Independent member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, has called on the Premier to immediately recall Parliament.
“As it stands, Parliament will not sit until March and that’s inexcusable when there’s so much work for politicians to do. Concerned community members ask me why on earth Tasmanian politicians need four months off, and honestly they have a really valid point,” Ms Johnston said.
“Right now, with Tasmania in the middle of a COVID emergency, a health and housing crisis, and an economic slowdown, shouldn’t our Parliament be back at work?
“The truth, I fear, is that this Premier is simply avoiding scrutiny. But when I talk to ordinary Tasmanians they want to see answers for the awkward questions such as:
- Where is a creditable plan for creating a pool of relief teachers to ease COVID-related teacher shortages, when many retired teachers are in the age bracket that is avoiding public exposure?
- How will the Government circumvent the almost certain burn-out of nurses and other health professionals, overwhelmed and fatigued by two years of the COVID crisis?
- What is being done to reduce the time to house priority applicants from the Housing Register, which has blown out to a staggering 19 months?
“And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to work that remains undone, and question left unanswered,” Ms Johnston said.
Ms Johnston revealed that the Federal House of Representatives sits close to 50% more days than the Tasmanian House of Assembly. Over the past five years the Federal Parliament has sat, on average, 60 days a year, while Tasmania just 41 days.
“It’s ridiculous and inexcusable.
“The 2022 sitting calendars show 65 sitting days for the Federal Parliament, while just 45 days for Tasmania’s Parliament. No wonder the public think politicians are lazy.
“Tasmania can’t wait any longer. Parliament must be recalled now,” Ms Johnston said.