Parliament passes COVID-19 Bill

State Parliament sat Tuesday and Wednesday last week, as scheduled, to debate and pass the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill. The new legislation gives our State Government fundamental powers and authority to deal with the crises situation we are currently facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

State Parliament will continue to sit through the crises, albeit with a modified schedule. This will allow the business of government to continue, while at the same time operate as a responsible workplace. Pairing arrangements for MPs have been negotiated, and seating has been organised so that distancing can be observed in the Parliamentary Chamber. I will continue to fulfil my duty as Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees, roles I very much enjoy. It is for the Chair of Committees to manage the consideration of any Bill through the final stage (ie the committee stage) of debate.  

Obviously, while government directives around social distancing and non-essential travel remain an imperative, we are all adjusting how we live, work and play. It’s a big ask, given that everyday Australians have been expected to change our way of life overnight. 

My electorate offices in both Port Lincoln and Ceduna remain operational, however in the interests of public wellbeing, we have closed the front doors for the time being. I would encourage anyone who needs to contact me to do so via email or phone call – and we will look to assist in that way. 

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  1. Rosemary on April 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Well done with the way we are handling Corona Virus, Steven Marshall has been up front and very good leading us but please don’t let the journalists or NSW entice us to go early on restrictions. With winter approaching and terrible stats coming out of Northern Hemisphere we must be vigilant and STAY isolated. I trust Scomo to see us through.

  2. Kirk Strathern on April 14, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Peter,

    What a hair brained scheme. Little thought has gone into it. Why on earth would a conservative government pay those who earn $500 a week on casual wages $750 a week? Would it have not been wiser to pay employees what they earned up to $750 a week?
    When this is all done and dusted we will have employees who will not be happy as they will have to do a days work for less money. They will see this as a pay cut.
    The country will have to pay this money back some day in taxes.
    No wonder many of my conservative friends have re named the prime minister Comrade Scotty
    The only solace I take from all this is what the hell would Labour have done. Still this is no excuse for what we have done.
    However born conservative, raised with conservative values and will die conservative.


  3. Joy Sleep on April 14, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    As we are all aware, there are many rumours going around with the covid19. I hope Scott Morrison doesn’t bow to pressure of reopening things too early. There have been a lot of things put into place regarding job seeker, helping the aviation of Australia, small business and so on. It would be so wrong to go back early, have more outbreaks of the virus, and have to go on this path again.

    Can I comment on another matter close to me and my husband. The fishing industry. My husband is over 75 and still fishing part time to recover fish licence fee etc. The government was going to start a buy back last year, which we all know never eventuated. He was hoping to retire but hanging in there to at least get something back for his 50 odd years in the industry. Being a B class fisherman and paying same fees as everyone else with A class or amalgamated licences, which I trust you would know a little about in your position. What is alarming( and I should have made comment to our parliamentarians many years ago) is the subject of recreational tourist fishers. No one can be so naive to wonder what catches they really make while visiting our area. There are a lot of them all down the coast and they come for 2to 3 months or even longer. They always go out in pairs to get a bigger catch and you only have to work out numbers of catch between 10 and 20 KGW per boat to wonder how many fish is actually caught while they stay. They only miss a day when there is a gale and most days have gone before the professional, gets his boat in the water. We get upto 70 to 80 tinnies here at times and this is just in Ceduna . It is mind boggling and something really has to happen. There is supposed to be a limited amount kept in their possession but they would way exceed this. Many stories have been told of disposing of fish , probably which can’t be proven, Maybe there should be a fee for recreational fishing and should have been bought in many years ago, with maybe the people in each postcode area exempt . Think about it and you will really see the big picture. We have our fishing bodies but nothing ever seems to happen. People only worry about the tourist dollars, and we have lived here all our lives and have contributed much more than that over the years. Fishing now is had it as we can’t even sell fish now , so recreational fishes still get to have there fish while we wait and see what the future hold in regards to the pandemic etc. As we take super from our SMSF and have a bit of pension from centre link, I don’t think we can put in for anything. But our main concern is the fish taken from this area every summer to never ever get back to what it was . Rant over, and I know there is only so much one can do , but it is very alarming for rural areas, regards

  4. Ms LM Wittwer on April 16, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I do appreciate this “hearing” of what is happening and of the precautions taken.
    I feel proud of the sensitive way this crisis has been handled in your Parliamentary duties.

  5. Ken Martin on May 10, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Dear Peter,

    I believe the Federal and State Governments have done a great job with managing COVID-19 to date and are now faced with the difficult task of balancing health and economy.

    Our State Governments of all persuasions have since the Playford Government been extremely citycentric in there administration. I believe the Marshall Government and Health Department need complimenting on there ramping up of preparedness for an increase in pandemic and flu conditions through increase of hospital beds etc. -that God willing are not required.

    My concern is that I have heard of no such plans for our region and or other truly regional areas. Mr Marshall and Dr Spurrier speak of Victor Harbour and Mt Barker as regional areas when in reality in the 21st century these areas are more like satellite cities, particularly in terms of access to major facilities. Everyone hopes the Pandemic doesn’t take off – full stop, however at this point in time if it did our region would be in dire strife and I fear there would not be sufficient air or road ambulance to utilize Adelaide health services. It would be good to hear of Health Departments view on this and potential for increasing our region’s capacity. This concern has been heightened by The SA COVID-19 administration actively encouraging people into the regions. While I understand this is part of the balancing act of recovering economy and health – the regional primary industry and mining is both the food bowl and genuine source of economic recovery. To underestimate the affects of pandemic in this region would be catastrophic. If this strategy of encouraging visitors to our region persists I would like to see a ramping up of our facilities that in some cases don’t include a doctor.

    Stay safe

    Regards Ken Martin