The state government has defended its strict quarantine protocols as further reports of workers in the building and construction sector being granted exemptions to enter Tasmania have emerged.
The government is under fire over the revelation workers were granted an exemption to enter the state to complete work on the Crowne Plaza hotel in Hobart.
Premier Peter Gutwein on Thursday denied any wrongdoing by the government or the State Control Centre in approving border exemptions for skilled specialist workers over the course of the pandemic while many other exemptions, such as those on compassionate grounds, were rejected.
Government Minister Guy Barnett said the state's quarantine process was strict and being monitored carefully.
But reports workers continue to be flown into the state, including from Victoria which has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, have raised concerns.
Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union state secretary Michael Anderson said for the refurbishment of a Coles supermarket in Southern Tasmania Victorian plumbers had been brought in without isolation because they were deemed essential.
"[On Friday] they have a 'safety auditor' on site who jumped in a cab yesterday to the airport from Melbourne and will be returning this afternoon to Victoria. If it wasn't so concerning it would be a laugh," Mr Anderson said.
"What is happening here is a government putting profit making of their donors and supporters over very real community health concerns."
In other news:
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union spokesman Richie Hassett said it was disgusting workers were being flown in for jobs Tasmanians could do, such as joiners, plasterers, carpenters and riggers.
"We've seen the news reports of development, government and their employer association mates suggesting that the [Crowne Plaza] job wouldn't have been completed without 'specialised' mainland workers. The workers in question on that job were cabinet makers, of which there are dozens looking for work locally," Mr Hassett said.
"The exemptions were granted because the developer wanted to save money, not because they couldn't find skilled local workers.
"To say that due process has been followed is not correct - it's pretty obvious free passes are being handed out the back door of the Premier's office for his mates."
Labor leader Rebecca White said it would be in the best interest of the government to be transparent around the reasons why exemptions were granted for workers with specialist skills by releasing a breakdown of the exemptions.
Ms White said she disputed the Premier's assertion on Thursday the decisions around quarantine exemptions had been tough but fair.
"They've been tough for a reason because we've got real health concerns but I would dispute they've always been fair," Ms White said.
"Workers coming across from the mainland to do jobs here in the building and construction industry highlights there are flaws with this process, particularly given more than 1000 people have lost work in Tasmania in this industry.
"There will be cases where an exemption is required for a specialist work, but the fact to date there have been a number of examples provided where we've got capable workers in Tasmania who could undertake that work illustrates that there is a problem."
Greens health spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said while the government had released the number of exemptions made for specialist workers over the course of the pandemic, it had not released any real detail.
"We don't know how many projects or companies applied for exemptions, or the rationale for refusal or acceptance," Dr Woodruff said.
"Tasmanians, including those who were refused exemptions to attend a loved one's funeral, have a right to know why decisions have been made and that the rules have been fairly applied.
"Tasmanians also need to be assured that the risk of bringing a person into our community is only done for unavoidable and essential reasons."
Dr Woodruff said this situation was an example of why a Parliamentary inquiry into the coronavirus response was required.