Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 3 AUGUST 2020

Premier Peter Gutwein

As I said right throughout this, our number one priority has been to keep Tasmanians safe and healthy.

While we take great comfort from the good position our state is in, we only have to look across Bass Strait to see the difficulties that others are facing.

And I do want to say in terms of Victoria, it is concerning and it is alarming what is occurring there and I just want all Victorians to know that Tasmanians are thinking of them.

I have reached out again to Daniel Andrews and once again offered the support of the state, should he need anything. You know, I am certain we will discuss those matters in coming days. I understand that other Premiers have done the same as well.

The next six weeks in Victoria will be critical for the country.

Today, you’d be aware that South Australia have also reintroduced stricter restrictions.

New South Wales remain on high alert.

It’s important that we remain vigilant here in Tasmania and that we continue to stick to the rules and to keep Tasmanians safe and secure.

Importantly, we’ve now conducted more than 70,000 coronavirus tests.

Yesterday, more than 800 were conducted, and over the last three days we’ve had more than 2,000 people test.

I’m still pleased to say at this time Tasmania remains coronavirus free.

We can’t for a second become complacent. I think everybody is taking note of what’s occurring in other states and jurisdictions, and this can get away very, very quickly.

We’re taking our border restrictions very seriously, and we continue to monitor and review the situations in other states on a day-by-day basis.

I want to assure Tasmanians that we will always act on Public Health advice and, importantly, that we will remain agile and responsive to put Tasmanians’ health and safety first.

I spoke extensively with the State Controller last evening in terms of the circumstances that was emerging in Victoria, and I also spoke with the South Australian Premier last night as well.

Given the uncertainty in Victoria right now, and the impact on other states, especially South Australia, I want to flag that we will be changing our border arrangements that were due to come into place this Friday in terms of travel to the Northern Territory, Western Australia and to South Australia, and also to flag that in terms of what might have been occurring on the 14th of this month in terms of Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT that matters have now changed.

We will not open our borders to anyone before the 31st of August this year.

We will review those matters on a week-by-week basis, and I’ll provide weekly updates throughout this period, as we watch what is occurring in other parts of the country.

Our borders have stood us in good stead, and it’s important now that we ensure that whilst the difficulties that Victoria are facing and other parts of the country, it’s important now that we remain vigilant, that we remain strong and, importantly, that we ensure that we do whatever we can to keep Tasmanians safe through this.

So, to be clear, we will not be opening our borders to South Australia, the Northern Territory and WA this Friday as originally planned, nor will we be opening to other parts of the country on the 14th as previously flagged. Be reviewed on a week-by-week basis, but there’ll be no border opening to any other jurisdictions before the 31st of August.

In terms of freight and supply, I understand that the Victorian Premier will be on his feet around now talking about the other restrictions that will come into play in Victoria.

There is as a national approach through the National Coordination Mechanism to Freight and Supply.

The State Controller and his team are currently monitoring the situation.

In terms of the key freight lines that we have, we don’t expect that there will be any disruption.

The work that has gone on with the Victorian Government, you know, would indicate that we would be without there being any interruption to key freight lines to Tasmania, but we’re working on contingencies, should that occur.

At this stage, and I want to make this point perfectly clear, that in terms of what’s occurring in Victoria, there is no need for Tasmanians at all to consider any form of panic buying or to be queuing at supermarkets.

Our supply lines remain strong and ongoing.

I want to touch on the AFL, as I know there would be one in this room that would probably ask me about it in a moment.

As I’ve always said, we won’t make any special deals in terms of exemptions for AFL.

There’ll be no AFL football played in Tasmania for the month of August.

We’ll continue to review it on a week-by-week basis, and depending on what we do with our borders post the 31st of August, we’ll make decisions then.

In terms of breaches. Some reporting over the weekend.

I just want to remind all Tasmanians and those that are in our quarantine hotels that, importantly, do the right thing. Do the right thing.

As is said on Friday, if you’re not honest, you do the wrong thing, if you breach quarantine arrangements, you know, we will throw the book at you.

Over the weekend, someone was bailed and charged and will face court with the possibility of a $16,800 fine or up to six months in gaol.

Compliance has been very good to date, but it is important that people continue to do the right thing, that they continue to take personal responsibility.

I understand that this is not fun.

You know, all Tasmanians have been asked to make sacrifices.

It’s important now, as we look to what’s occurring over our borders, that we do whatever we can to stay in front of this, to ensure that we keep our communities safe, that we keep our communities secure.

The last thing that we want in Tasmania is to have to introduce restrictions such as what South Australia have done today, to go backwards, to go from two square meters to four square meters, to reduce the number of people that can meet at someone’s home.

You know, we are in a good place. And, you know, I would ask Tasmanians to continue to work with us to continue to do the right thing, to continue to keep Tasmania one of the safest places in the world.

With that I’ll take questions on any of those matters.

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