CDU EXPERTS: COVID-19 pandemic inquiry must focus on all levels of government to deal effectively with the lessons learned, not just the Commonwealth response.
25 September, 2023
Who: Charles Darwin University law experts Dr Guzyal Hill and Dr John Garrick
- Inquiry into government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All-federation inquiry is needed, rather than the proposed terms of reference focussing on the Commonwealth government’s response.
- Advocacy coalitions were present during the pandemic and will re-engage during the inquiry.
Contact details: Call +61 8 8946 6721 or email email@example.com to arrange an interview.
Quotes attributable to Dr Hill:
"Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Health Minister Mark Butler announced the inquiry into the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but terms of reference for the inquiry are too narrow as state and territory responses are not examined. This will mean that as a federation we won't be able to learn all the necessary lessons from the pandemic."
“The pandemic created and exposed an inconsistent patchwork of policies across different states and territories, adding to uncertainty for businesses and individuals.”
“Our research shows the COVID pandemic exposed strong advocacy coalitions with elements involving radical opinions. These advocacy coalitions will be re-engaged in the inquiry, regardless of the calls to keep the debate civil”.
Quotes attributable to Dr John Garrick:
“Australia’s Federation was placed under stress by the impact of COVID-19. States and territories took responsibility for most of the policy developments during the COVID crisis, including implementing contact tracing, physical distancing measures and case management, maintaining public health services, hospitals, and establishing systems to promote the safety and security of people in aged care, prisons, schools and other institutions.”
“COVID should have taught Australia the dangers of hasty, heavy-handed regulatory responses. Some of these vital social issues are marginalised or excluded from this critical Inquiry.”
“Rushing into an inquiry about lessons learned in one jurisdiction cannot produce optimal outcomes – either for that jurisdiction, or Australia as a whole.”
“The way Australia will assess the turbulent effects and response to COVID will define the safety and quality of life in any future pandemic. And we’re not even out of the woods with COVID variants.”