The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:06): My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. I understand that crew members of container ships arriving at Outer Harbor are treated as essential travellers in terms of COVID-19 arrangements. As such, they are required to keep records of all people they are in close contact with for 14 days whilst in the state. Can the minister advise whether he is aware of any breaches of this arrangement and, if so, what action has been taken in respect of these breaches?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:07): I am not aware of any breaches and, as in relation to the question from the Hon. Frank Pangallo, I am very happy to seek information on that and bring back an answer. I think it is important to appreciate the importance of maintaining essential traveller status. The freight lines of Australia are fundamental to our health and wellbeing. We all know the disruption to the lives of many Australians earlier in the year when people seemed to think that we were about to run out of toilet paper and, for that matter, a whole series of other supplies were threatened. Governments right around Australia were trying to assure people that there was no need to hoard.
In fact, in this morning's health ministers' meeting, freight was particularly highlighted, and health ministers stressed how important it is to keep our freight lines moving. We will continue to monitor the compliance with the essential travel requirements, which we believe will protect the health and safety of the communities in which essential travellers are working, but I think it is also important to appreciate the economic importance and, to be frank, the health importance of keeping the freight lines moving. If people can't have food security, they can't have access to their normal supply of pharmaceutical products or what have you, that is not just an economic threat to the nation, it's also a threat to the health and wellbeing of the nation.