The past few weeks have changed us. Here in Tasmania, around Australia and throughout the world, life, as we know it, has ended, at least for now.
Things we've always taken for granted - going to work, day-to-day activities and outings, sports gatherings and social get-togethers - are no longer allowed, and our lives have become homebound and isolated from friends, family and loved ones.
Many have lost their jobs, many are struggling just to survive financially, and there is widespread confusion, anxiety and real fear in the community.
That's why we all need to pull together during this crisis and take every available step to keep Tasmania safe from the threat of COVID-19 - and to help those already feeling the crushing financial effects.
Labor supports the decision to mandate that all arrivals to Tasmania must be quarantined for 14 days and to close a large number of non-essential services.
We know these decisions are hard and will have a lasting impact, but strong and decisive action is required to save lives.
That's why Labor has called for the immediate closure of all schools and non-essential services in Tasmania. At a time when we are all being told to live our lives 1.5 metres apart, our children, their teachers and support staff are gathering in crowded school classrooms and playgrounds. For the sake of all Tasmanians, the mixed messages must stop. All Tasmanians should stay home unless they are delivering an essential service. The state government must make sure that people are supported financially to stay home and to minimise the impact for those who have lost work.
The Tasmanian Parliament has now put protections in place so that no one can be evicted during this crisis from either their home or their commercial tenancy.
We have also moved to ease the pressure on household bills like water and power so that people don't have to worry about how they are going to cover these expenses during this crisis. Labor will support any measures to protect the health of Tasmanians but we can't wait to take our cues from Canberra. We need to take strong and decisive action now. People's lives - and our future depends on it.
- Rebecca White, Tasmanian Labor leader