Good afternoon, everyone. I'm joined by the Attorney General Elise Archer who will provide an update on some matters relating to the public trustee. Obviously, Kathrine Morgan-Wicks and Dr Mark Veitch here as well today.
What we'll do is work through the update on Coronavirus, and then after Mark's finished taking questions, the Attorney will make an announcement and then come back for questions, if that suits? On broader matters.
So, look, as I've said on many occasions, our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of Tasmanians. The last fortnight in Victoria's reminded us that the threat from COVID is not yet over. Victorians have made huge sacrifices over the past fortnight. Today, four newly acquired cases have been reported. However, their situation seems to be broadly under control and, in fact, what we're hearing is that they are tracking and tracing as effectively as anywhere else in the country at the moment.
Tasmanian Public Health authorities continue to monitor the situation in Victoria daily, including the changes to lockdown restrictions in that state that will be coming into effect from this evening. Based on the current situation in Victoria, regional Victoria will be downgraded to low risk from midnight tonight under our Tasmanian border controls.
Metropolitan Melbourne, which I understand is around 31, or is 31 local government areas. They are listed on the Victorian Coronavirus website at the moment, and we will be adopting those 31 LGAs for metropolitan Melbourne, which consists of those 31 LGAs, will remain high risk and will continue to be monitored daily. However, at this stage, it's unlikely that it'll be downgraded to a low risk until after a long weekend.
As a result of these changes, people who have only been in regional Victoria in the 14 days before they arrive in Tasmania will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Tasmania. They must register to enter the state through the TAS e-Travel system, which my feedback is from around the country is I think one of the best gatekeeping entry apps that is going around, to be frank. They'll need to use that system to confirm that they've not been to any high-risk premises visited by COVID cases, and that they have transmitted directly through metropolitan Melbourne.
Because metropolitan Melbourne remains high risk, anyone who's been in this area in the 14 days before they are – and by being in this area, not transited directly through – before they arrive in Tasmania, will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless approved as an essential traveller.
If approved, to enter Tasmania, they'll be required to quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premises if available, otherwise in government-designated accommodation at their own cost. Those currently in quarantine will not be able to leave at midnight tonight. If they were not in metropolitan Melbourne in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania, they will be able to leave at midnight. So, I think that there'll be some very happy people in terms of the more than 1100 adults that we currently have in quarantine at the moment. These people will be contacted by the COVID-19 Coordination Centre to confirm this. So, please check your G2G pass account and be alert for an SMS and email message this afternoon if you are in a home quarantine or government quarantine at the moment.
There are currently high-risk premises in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales, and if you've been in any of these premises, you cannot enter Tasmania as per the public health advice. If you're already in Tasmania and have spent time at any of these sites – and noting that these sites are being added to as authorities and other states pick them up – if you've been in any of these sites in any of the specified dates and times listed, self-isolate immediately if you're not already, and call the Public Health Hotline for further advice.
I want to remind everyone how important it is to monitor your health. If you have any symptoms, even mild, isolate immediately and book a test with the Public Health Hotline. Keep checking the list of high-risk premises on the Coronavirus website, as more sites are being added – some several times each day, as I've just said.
For Tasmanians planning to go interstate for work or personal travel, it's a reminder that it's your responsibility to keep up to date on border restrictions. As we know, COVID cases emerge without warning and the rules around returning to Tasmania can change very rapidly. We will do our very best to communicate them effectively as we can when they do.
In terms of the vaccination update, which Kathrine Morgan-Wicks will cover up in more detail in the moment, I want to thank those Tasmanian that have come forward already. Tomorrow marks the end of week 16. I'm pleased to announce that over 30% of Tasmanian that are eligible have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – that's around 135,000 Tasmanians.
Tasmanians are hearing the ‘Don’t wait, vaccinate’ message, with over 19,000 vaccinations given last week. We have forward bookings in our state clinics for June of over 35,000 people. Importantly, we still have appointments available. GP respiratory clinics and GP clinics also have appointments from late June, and 11 more GPs will commence vaccinations across Tasmania shortly as well. Getting as many Tasmanians vaccinated quickly is our absolute priority, and I'm urging every eligible Tasmanian to book an appointment in the coming weeks. Now, let's get on with this and get the job done.
The Victorian outbreak has demonstrated the importance of ensuring that frontline workers and aged care, health, disability, and border and quarantine are fully vaccinated. My message to those workers who have not had a first dose is ‘Don't wait, vaccinate’.
I want to just very quickly touch on the expansion of the eligible criteria, which was announced last week, has seen strong demand for those Tasmanian ages 40 years and over. But as I understand it, just under 6000 people making a booking in the first three days, which is great news. Now, we're well and truly into the time of year when colds and flus arise, so please stay home if you're unwell and if you have any symptoms at all, please get tested.
I do want to just touch on a matter which was important to all Tasmanian AFL fans. This weekend's game between North Melbourne and GWS at Blundstone Arena will proceed under strict COVID-safe protocols, as we've previously advised. I can also advise that constructive and positive discussions are being held with the AFL, North Melbourne and Hawthorn in relation to the possibility of games being shifted from Melbourne to Tasmania on the coming, on the following weekend.
Obviously, in terms of Melbourne at the moment, it's not clear whether they'll be able to have crowds on Saturday and Sunday week in Melbourne, and so we're working with the AFL and those clubs at the moment. The games, if they were to be transferred, would be North Melbourne versus Brisbane on Saturday the 19th at Blundstone Arena, and Hawthorn versus Essendon on Sunday the 20th at UTAS Stadium. Similar to this weekend's game, they would need to be conducted in the COVID-safe manner, the same fly-in, fly-out basis as previously approved by Public Health and the Deputy State Controller.
Our discussions are ongoing and obviously, whilst I know that the AFL and Victorians would want to see crowds at those venues, if that's not possible, then Tasmania stands ready to conduct a double header on that Saturday and Sunday week.
I'll hand over now to the Secretary of Health Kathrine Morgan-Wicks, to provide more detail on the vaccination program.
Thank you, Premier. As the Premier said, we're almost at the end of week 16 of the roll out in Tasmania. As at 9 June, we have delivered 161,559 doses, which is made up of 80,538 doses in state government clinics, 10,898 in the aged care sector and 70,123 doses by GPs. Over 25,725 Tasmanians are fully vaccinated, and this will grow coming weeks as the first 12-week cycle of AstraZeneca doses comes around, with more than 100,000 Tasmanians to receive their second dose in the 12 weeks from 14 June.
In news just to hand, we have received advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on immunisation. So, ATAGI are recommending that pregnant women are to be offered the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination. Pregnant women of any age are encouraged to make a booking at one of our Pfizer clinics in Hobart, Launceston or Burnie to receive a vaccination.
We've also received updated advice from ATAGI about the minimum interval between a COVID-19 vaccination, and any other vaccination a person may have received. So, for example, flu vaccine, which is now 7 days. Previously, it was 14. What this means is that it is now possible to receive a flu vaccination 7 days before or after a COVID-19 vaccination. And as we come into the winter months, I do encourage everyone to get a flu vaccine as soon as you are able.
Today was the first day of operation of our Pfizer clinic in Moonah. The bookings for this clinic has started off very strongly, with the first two weeks already booked out. This clinic will service anyone who is aged 40–49 years and those people age 16–39 who have underlying medical conditions, or NDIS recipients and people living with disability and their careers, aged care and disability support workers, and critical and high-risk workers. This clinic has extended operating hours on a Thursday and it is open on a Saturday to cater for people who also work during the week.
As the premier said, we are focusing our energy on making sure that our frontline and critical workers, as well as priority and at-risk populations are able to access a vaccination. Again, I want to call on our aged care and disability care workers to come forward, and we will prioritise your vaccination. We are working closely with aged care facilities to make sure that you have had your vaccine or been offered a spot to book in. The Commonwealth will finish their visits tomorrow to all residential care facilities, and pleasingly more than 85% of residents consented to receive their vaccine, and by the end of tomorrow will be fully vaccinated.
In terms of other priority populations, we have been working with the Aspen Medical Group, who have Commonwealth responsibility for vaccinating those people living with a disability residing in group homes. They commenced this work two weeks ago, and more than 20% of NDIS recipients have now been vaccinated by either Aspen or in state clinics, and this will grow over the coming weeks.
We are also working with Aspen to conduct a clinic specifically set up for people with disabilities in Hobart and Launceston to speed up the delivery. Our work in remote locations continues, with Flinders and Cape Barren this week, King Island next week and another clinic in Smithton for people aged 16–49. We've also engaged Moreton Medical Group to extend their current specialist homeless service to include vaccinations so that we can reach this vulnerable group.
I want to again urge any Tasmanian aged 50 years and over to book in for a vaccination at either a participating GP, a GP respiratory clinic or a community clinic in your area. Our over-50 community clinics are in Kingston, Huonville, Rosny, Brighton, Devonport and Scottsdale, which is coming online from 27 June. If you are 40– 49 years, you are now able to book an appointment at one of our Pfizer hubs, which are operating out of the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Wellington Clinic, Moonah, Launceston General Hospital, Burnie and, at the moment, Smithton. Our community clinics will continue to move around the state to reach as many people as possible, and these clinics are in place for a limited amount of time, so, I do encourage everyone to make a booking to avoid missing out when the clinic is in your area.
This vaccination program is a whole-of-community effort, and I want to acknowledge the work that primary care providers are doing. There are 93 Tasmanian GPs currently participating in the roll out and three GP respiratory clinics at Derwent Park, Launceston and St Helens to book into also, with large amounts of vaccine.
As the Premier said, for the 30% of Tasmanian who have already received the first dose, you are Tasmania’s vaccination ambassadors, and we need you to help bring the rest of Tasmania over the line. We want you to help us build that groundswell of support, starting with your friends and your family. We face a public health challenge to overcome vaccine hesitance and complacency in pockets of our community, and we want to move that to vaccine readiness, and for Tasmania to continue to lead the nation as the state that vaccinates.
I understand that choosing to wait and see may be the right approach to a number of things in our lives, but when it comes to keeping on top of COVID-19, ‘wait and see’ is not a good option. We want to emphasise to as many people as possible this clear advice: ‘Don't wait, vaccinate’. And for the one in three vaccinated, eligible Tasmanians, please urge your family, friends and your community to roll up your sleeves as soon as it's your turn. I'll hand over to Mark.
Thank you, Kath. I'd be happy to take any questions if people have them about Public Health considerations.
I do have one about the classification of regional Victoria. If somebody is from regional Victoria and they're coming back to Tasmania and they're transiting through Melbourne – say someone comes from Ballarat via a train and then they've got to go through Southern Cross Station, use the Sky Bus to get to the airport – are they still classed as low risk, given that they've had to use public transport to transit through this city?
The approach we've taken so far is that people who have transited directly to seaports and airports, we've regarded that as acceptable. People who have prolonged time on public transport, we have assessed from, we've varied our approach to that over time, depending upon the risk in the city at the time. For example, a few months ago when Sydney was a considerable concern, we did not accept transit through Southern Cross – sorry, not through the Sydney rail routes to the airport there. I'll have to get advice from, have a chat with our State Controller, about exactly how we're going to manage that for movement through Melbourne – the rail routes and the like. But our, you know, preferred approach is that people travel with as little interaction with the population as possible.
I only ask that there's a large number of regional Victorians, myself included, when they come back to Tasmania, do use public transport networks because most people won't leave a car in the city when they're flying back to Tasmania, so.
Currently, there is a requirement for people to wear masks on public transport and in the public in Melbourne, but I would just need to confirm with the Deputy State Controller what our approach will be to that.
And just to clarify, this essentially means that our order has reopened to regional Victoria, is that correct? So, if somebody's from Tasmania, a Tasmanian resident now wants to go to Bendigo or Mildura, they're able to do so?
They have always been able to do so, but upon getting to those places, they'll still find themselves subject to the requirements of the Victorian Government in terms of their movement and restrictions, and the number of people who can be in households. And there are still quite substantial social restrictions that apply to people in regional Victoria, as well as Melbourne in particular.
Can you just explain the rationale for opening to regional Victoria from midnight tonight, but waiting until after the long weekend – which I presume is Monday – before you make a decision about opening to metropolitan Melbourne?
Certainly. There have been no cases of COVID in regional Victoria. There are currently no exposure sites in regional Victoria, unless some have been added today and there was a person you know, who's moved through from Melbourne to Queensland recently. So, it's possible there's a servo that's gone on the list there along the Hume, but there are no current exposure sites in Victoria, and there was a for a period, there was some wastewater positives in Bendigo and outside Bendigo, there have been some variable results from that testing thereafter but there doesn't appear to be any. There's been plenty of testing done in both regional, throughout regional Victoria both before this outbreak and since then, so, all of those things add up to regional Victoria being a very safe place. There's, you know, they haven't been any cases there.
Metropolitan Melbourne is quite different. Metropolitan Melbourne's had two different outbreaks. The first of which the outbreaks entered in West Melbourne – we only learned about at the start of last week and there are still cases being diagnosed in Melbourne. Most, but not all spent most of their time in quarantine, so they’re contacts who are known, but there have been some unexpected cases in arising in Melbourne in the last few days. So, we simply need to leave enough time after the last case was infectious in the community in Melbourne, and the last date when someone was infectious in the community in Melbourne was Tuesday of this week. So, even though those numbers of people known to be infectious in the community in Melbourne is diminishing, it's not over yet, and so we need to leave sufficient time for any cases that could arise from those last few cases to be to detected, and to be sure that they're not creating further risk. And we'll know that, really, by pretty early next week.
We had a case that was revealed today as a worker at the Derwent Entertainment Centre site who had entered Tasmania after, and shouldn't have been allowed to, based on where he'd actually travelled, who has now been sent into quarantine, where he should have been. Kevin Harkins from CFMEU Tasmania says all the workers at that site should be tested. Would you be recommending they all be tested, or is the worker going into quarantine sufficient?
This person was not a case of COVID. I think let's be very clear to the Tasmanian public: this man was not a case of COVID. Furthermore, his exposures in Melbourne over the last weekend were all in regional Victoria. He went nowhere near where cases have been. However, because regional Victoria at the time was, and still is until midnight tonight, designated as a place where you are required to quarantine when you come back into Tasmania, he should have gone into home quarantine and stayed there. However, he did go to work. We've had, we know, so when I was told about this last night by colleagues in the COVID Control Centre, the police, we explored where this man had been, we determined that he hadn't been anywhere where he was likely to be exposed to COVID. Furthermore, we've had, he's been tested and he's returned a negative test. So, there is no risk to the people on the work site, in that they don't need testing.
Just going back to the regional Victoria changes, you're essentially relying on people who are travelling back from regional Victoria to be honest when they're coming through Tasmanian airports and ports to say, ‘Yes. I've only been in regional Victoria. I haven't been into any of those Melbourne LGAs’. It's essentially an honesty system.
It absolutely is, yes, and that's how we've managed the entry of people throughout this pandemic. It depends upon people honestly saying where they've been, honestly disclosing whether they've been at a place that would pose a risk and might require a different approach to their arrival in Tasmania. So, yes, we do require require honesty.
What would your message be, then, to people who might tell lies or might tell maybe white lies? Maybe they've been in a Melbourne local government area for an hour or half a day, and they're trying to come back into Tassie. What's your message to people who might not be honest?
I would encourage people to declare where they've been when they apply to enter Tasmania, just as I would expect them to be honest when they make any declaration that has legal standing and consequences.
I've got one on the Moonah clinic, if that's alright? It's just one. The Moonah clinic is open today. That's booked out for the next 2 weeks. You'd have to be pleased about that?
Yes, absolutely. So, and to see that as a 16–49 age group clinic and with several thousand bookings being made since it's open, and we have several thousand that are also still available at the Moonah clinic. So, I absolutely recommend people to book.
Well, good afternoon everyone. As the Premier said, I'll be making an announcement about the Public Trustee and obviously an update on the matter of Public Trustee, which has been the subject of significant media reporting over the past few days. In addition to that reporting, a number of representations from constituents and stakeholders have been made both to my office and the office of the Deputy Premier, largely centring around concerns from clients with the Public Trustee and around how their cases have been dealt with. Of course, the Public Trustee interacts with Tasmanians at most difficult times in their lives, they act independently of government. But it's also important that we ensure any concerns are looked into to ensure the highest level of confidence in this very important function that they carry out.
My office has today spoken with the Public Trustee and advised them that it is the government's preference to conduct an independent review into the administrative and operational practices of the Public Trustee. And our government understands that the Public Trustee is committed to continuing to provide professional services delivered with integrity and understanding to the Tasmanian community, and this review will assist the Public Trustee to continue to deliver these services.
Treasury has been tasked with urgently developing terms of reference for an independent review to be undertaken as soon as practical, and I intend to provide more detail on the review as it develops, most likely in coming weeks.
The Public Trustee said yesterday when we asked them for a response that their highest priority is protecting the financial wellbeing of their clients. However, the Public Trustee’s also expected to pay to make a profit and pay dividends to the government and they also receive commissions on sales of things that are made. So, surely the way it's set up at the moment, there is a conflict between the money it's expected to deliver back to the government and to generate through sales, and its duty to make a decision in the best financial interest of its clients?
Well, all part of the review, but the role of the Public Trustee is there's a number of functions. It has duties and responsibilities, both in terms of legal services it provides for financial administration. It can also be appointed not only by the Guardianship and Administration board to manage the financial affairs but also the medical affairs of a person who's unable to make those decisions for themselves, and there's no person responsible that's closely linked by way of the family or other means. So, there's that function of the Public Trustee and, as you've alluded to, there's a financial function as well. So, all of those things will be looked at and as I said, Treasury has been tasked with forming those terms of reference.
Will this review only cover the Public Trustee or will it also cover the Public Guardian, the Guardianship and Administration for and I mean, obviously, there's been the Law Institute review of the actual Guardianship Act but will those other two be covered by, the other two levels be covered by this review or just a Public Trustee?
Well, this review is into the administration and the services that the Public Trustee provides. The review of the Guardianship and Administration Act and the board has been done thoroughly. That report was finalised December 2018 by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute. I've already introduced the first tranche in response to that review. I must say that it was a very lengthy and comprehensive review, and I thank the TLRI for that, we're working our way through that. But as I've indicated, what we've already started through Parliament – and I'll need to reintroduce because the election intervened – was the first tranche in relation to advanced care directives. I did that because I recognised that there is an extensive body of work to be done in relation to guardianship and administration, and therefore it will be done in stages so that we have the most efficient outcome and done in a timely manner.
The most recent annual report of the Public Guardian stated pretty boldly that he did not have the resources to do its job properly, including to conduct oversight of its own management of cases. Let's assume that the Public Trustee has similar resourcing. Will this review consider the resourcing levels of the Public Trustee?
The government's always looking at submissions that we get provided prior the Budget, and I'm sure the Premier and Treasurer will agree with me, we always consider those matters as part of that Budget process. If something comes out of the review, we'll give that consideration as well.
And the Advocacy Tasmania, and it's obviously I suppose being a body that’s really responsible for bringing this up in public and pursuing change, the most, although a lot of people have interacted with the Public Trustee, perhaps the most disturbing and urgent cases that they brought to the media and people's attention was around the ability for people in Tasmania’s hospitals to gain emergency guardianship or simply through a phone call to effectively take away people's rights to make decisions, and their only recourse is to go to the Supreme Court. So, Advocacy Tasmania, I think would want us to ask, will you be urgently looking at the way that that part of it works. Sorry, it's complicated. Will you be urgently looking at the current practice for hospital staff to apply for and be granted emergency guardianship orders with very little oversight?
Yeah, as you said, this is a complex issue. What will come out of that review is the involvement of the Public Trustee, and the Public Trustee gets involved when it's appointed by the Guardianship Administration Board, exactly in response to those types of orders. I know that the Public Guardian, and the Guardianship and Administration Board that oversees this process, is always stringent in how they manage these types of issues, because when it gets to that stage where they have to appoint a body like the Public Trustee to step in when there are no other family members or there are conflicts within families, they are very difficult situations to deal with. But I have spoken to the Public Guardian on a number of occasions about how we can better deal with this process. They do apply best practice, but as I've indicated the review of the Guardianship and Administration process is already being looked at and the second tranche will do with a lot of those issues as well.
Will you and the Health Minister be looking as a matter of priority at this hospital side of things, because we're hearing about some pretty Kafkaesque situations happening as a result of this. So, clearly, it needs attention.
Yeah, well, I know that we've already got a meeting set up to discuss the types of issues that Advocacy Tasmania is talking about. We'll get a better understanding of the specific examples so that we can respond accordingly.
Question to the Premier: the Fiscal Sustainability Report paints a picture of a state that is sliding into debt of Treasurers who will never deliver a surplus. Is that an unduly pessimistic outlook of our future?
It is an extraordinarily pessimistic outlook. In terms of what the Fiscal Sustainability Report does, is it actually outlines a number of scenarios. It also makes the point very clearly that those scenarios, as they are outlined, it doesn't take into account any government action or intervention. The other point I'd make in terms of the Fiscal Sustainability Report that you've all seen today and has been released, that that doesn't capture the most recent uplifts in revenues that were identified in the pre-election financial outlook, and also again in the Australian Budget, which was released just recently. And I think you all reported on the fact that at that time, that in terms of GST that we will be seeing more of it and in fact, I welcomed it, and the combined impact of both the uplift in GST as a result of the Federal Budget, but also the uplift that we're seeing in terms of state-owned source revenues provides an additional $1.6 billion or thereabouts in additional revenue that's not captured by that Fiscal Sustainability Report that is expected to be received over the next four years. And so, you know, the Treasury wouldn't like me to say it, but to be frank the Fiscal Sustainability Report is already out of date.
The fixed point of, I suppose, a lot of the scenarios that were considered are that it's similar to what was found in the 2019 update to the 2016 report, is that increasing health costs will be the main driver of any budget instability and under any scenario, they are going to continue to rise, under conservative estimates to almost doubling to $4 billion dollars within 15 years. What do you plan to do to either raise revenue to cover those increasing costs or to find ways to reduce the health expenditure that's projected?
Well, the point I've just made, which I thought I'd made quite clearly, is that revenue has significantly increased already to the tune of around $1.6 billion as a result of, you know, our strong growing national and also local economy. But in terms of health, like it shouldn't be a surprise. It's not a surprise to any state or territory, or any other jurisdiction in the world, quite frankly, that health costs continue to rise. Now, we will need to manage that effectively, and that that will rely on both preventative health measures and also rely on acute health measures. But as we move forward, you know, as I've often said both in this room and at budget time, the best way to ensure that we have the revenues necessary to fund both health or education, and other essential services, is to ensure that we have a strong, growing economy, which is exactly what we've got, which is exactly what I've delivered through my period as Treasurer.
The report a couple of months late, was there any good reason why it couldn't have been delivered on time, which would have been before the election?
Well, that's a matter for the Secretary of Treasury, who I understand you've had some time with today. It's his report.
On the Public Guardian or Public Trustee issue, how surprised were you by some of the examples that Advocacy Tasmania has brought exposure to? How surprised were you find out of the situations people found themselves in when they were subject to a guardianship order?
Well, can I just say in terms of a guardianship order, they are not given out easily. At the end of the day, there is a very difficult decision that somebody has to make to effectively remove someone's rights and to place them under an order like that. Now, in terms of what the Attorney has said, that you know, that we'll be working through those matters, that there's a meeting with the Deputy Premier and we'll obviously hear more, have more feedback from Advocacy Tasmania, in terms of these matters. We want to end up with a system that is fair and reasonable, and where examples like this are raised, and we'll take steps to inquire into them, which is exactly what the Attorney’s announced today.
And Advocacy Tasmania and other organisations have been raising these issues for quite a long time. This week isn't the first time. Why hasn't a review with this selection been taken earlier?
Well, in terms of the Guardianship Act, there was a review in terms of that, that was conducted in 2018 I think, in fact, which was extensive and measures have already been brought forward and there'll be further amendments that are brought forward. But in terms of this, as a government, you know, I'm pleased, very pleased that the Attorney has taken this on so swiftly and, you know, we'll engage with the Treasurer, we'll make sure that the terms of reference for I can engage with the stakeholders as necessary as we work our way through this. We want to end up, as I've said, with something that is fair and reasonable and workable for Tasmanians, and we'll look into these matters.
Back to the footy, when do you know, when do you expect to hear back from the AFL, and know for certain that those two games in Launie and Hobart?
The clubs, as you can imagine, the clubs are very keen to get an understanding from the Victorian Government through and the Victorian Public Health will ultimately those calls. Now obviously, they have outlined a pathway to midnight, I think, of next Thursday night in Victoria, in terms of outdoor gatherings and other restrictions that will apply in Victoria. But these games take a while to stand up and so, I would hope that in the coming days, if not, certainly by the very latest early next week, we would know.
You're hoping they end up here?
Well, look, I wouldn't wish ill upon any other jurisdiction, but to be quite frank, I would very much like to see those games played here.
What effect do you think the border closure will have on Dark Mofo next week? There will be a lot of people who, in Melbourne, who would be assuming they'll have to cancel their bookings to come to Tasmania because of the uncertainty, and they would make up a large percentage of interstate travellers. What impact do you think that will have in terms of the loss of expected revenue from Victorian visitors over that festival?
Well, in terms of what we've just announced today, obviously with Dark Mofo starting shortly, the regional Victorian restrictions will come off at midnight tonight, as Dr Veitch has indicated. The metropolitan Melbourne restrictions are planned at the end of the long weekend to come off, you know, subject to there not being further outbreaks in Melbourne. So, you know, at the end of the day, it may have very little impact on Dark Mofo over the period that Dark Mofo runs. But again, it was pleasing to see that the appetite for Dark Mofo tickets and the fact that they've actually put on additional shows. And so, people are certainly willing to book.
And just on that COVID quarantine breach, you said the Tas e-Travel is a very good system, but obviously it only works if put the correct information into it. Are you concerned that this breach that has been brought to light might be the tip of the iceberg? How honest do you think most people have been, could there be other cases? I suppose cases is the wrong word – are there instances of people who have been in hotspots and just have not actually declared that and they went into the state?
Well, we have managed since the beginning of COVID with the same system in place and right throughout that, the work that Public Health have done and the settings that they've applied for the state have kept the state in a very safe and in a very good place. But obviously, at the end of the day, we do rely on people's honesty around the country, and as we've seen in terms of an outcome in Queensland in the last 24 hours, some people will flaunt the rules. You know, my very strong advice to people that are thinking about coming to Tasmania is, you know, abide by the rules. The rules are in place to keep not only yourself safe, but importantly, to keep friends and family and our community safe. And you know, overall, I think people have worked very well within those rules but I'd always encourage people if they are thinking of flaunting them not to, because they could put other people at risk.
Just a quick random question, obviously we've had some pretty wild weather in the last couple of days, with a 66-year-old man dying yesterday. I think the weather is starting to wrap up now, but do you have a message for Tasmanians?
Look. I think it very importantly, always drive to the conditions, I think is the most important message that people can receive at this time of year in terms of placing themselves at risk. Always be mindful of the road conditions. In terms of the recent weather events that we've seen, I was updated just very quickly this afternoon prior to this press conference room, the Police Commissioner and at this stage, you know, he believes that we are in a good position but importantly, you know, all of us need to take a little bit of responsibility at these times. As I've said, the most important thing that people can do and when they place themselves at the most opportune risk there is, is when people are driving. And so please take care on our roads, and if in doubt, make sure that you drive to the conditions.