Discussion paper

Parliamentary scrutiny during the COVID-19 crisis in Tasmania

Government accountability Parliament Tasmania New Zealand

In the last week of March 2020, both the Tasmanian State Parliament and New Zealand’s Parliament voted to suspend sittings. New Zealand adjourned for about five weeks (till the 28th of April) and the Tasmanian parliament for about five months, until August.

Before the Tasmanian Parliament adjourned, it granted extraordinary powers to the government through the enactment of the Covid-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (the Covid-19 Bill).

Before the New Zealand Parliament adjourned, it – by consensus – established the Epidemic Response Committee, a special select committee to examine the Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Australian Capital Territory has also established a parliamentary oversight committee for the territory government’s COVID-19 response, although the ACT Legislative Assembly is still meeting weekly.

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