Media Release

28 March 2020

A parliamentary inquiry to examine the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with the ability to call all relevant witnesses has been welcomed by Labor as a timely move in the face of the global crisis.

The upper house Public Accountability Committee yesterday established the inquiry.

The Labor Opposition together with the Greens and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Party established the inquiry to ensure proper scrutiny of the very broad new powers government was given by Parliament this week, as well as to oversight its responses to the unfolding situation.

This occurs in the context of Parliament having now been adjourned until mid- September and there being no other effective mechanism to obtain information in a timely way on actions being taken by government to address the very serious health and economic situation facing communities across NSW.

“It is important the community has the confidence that Parliament will continue to do its job and properly scrutinise the actions of government as this challenging and difficult situation continues” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council

“In a democracy, it is vital we be able to continue to hold the Berejiklian Government to account on its actions, provide support where appropriate and offer constructive ideas where necessary.

“This step has not been taken lightly. We want to work with government in ensuring the community is properly informed about what actions are being taken and why.

“If there are questions about those actions, they need to be able to be asked and answered properly.”