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Estimates: Question on Parliamentary oversight of the Government's COVID-19 response

In the estimates hearings on 7 December 2020, I asked Premier Palaszczuk if the government would create Parliamentary oversight of their COVID-19 response.

You can read the answer below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: In the 56th parliament, the predecessors to this committee and the health committee undertook inquiries into the government's economic and health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, but these inquiries dissolved with the committees at the end of the last parliament. Having opposed my attempt last week to establish a similar but more robust statutory committee to continue this important work of scrutinising the whole-of-government COVID-19 response, will the government establish any COVID-19 oversight inquiry or standing committee in this new term of parliament?

Ms PALASZCZUK: I thank the member for Maiwar. My understanding is that the economics committee can look at anything it desires; likewise, the health committee can look at anything in relation to COVID. We are definitely not out of the pandemic by any means, but in terms of the fact that the strong health response means we can move on to economic recovery—and the fact everyone here is sitting here today functioning almost as usual, except for the hand sanitiser and a bit of the social distancing—the government believes that with the parliamentary committee system currently in place there is adequate scope for those committees to look at anything in particular. Do not forget, too, that in September the committee had an opportunity to question both me and the Treasurer in relation to CEFA as well. We have done a couple of estimates this year.

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