Why this virus should change our thinking
Noosa MP Sandy Bolton believes Queensland’s latest COVID-19 threat could be a game changer in making our communities more self-sufficient.
Reports of three people being diagnosed with COVID-19 emerged south of Brisbane on Wednesday, with health authorities scrambling to reduce the risk of a much larger outbreak.
“It has brought about the opportunity to reimagine new ways to come together, agree on recovery and post COVID policy approaches,” Ms Bolton has told state parliament.
As part of her submission to the Inquiry into Government’s Health Response to COVID-19, she said there was an opportunity “to remove the barriers that have prevented our society addressing issues that remain unresolved”.
“These historical issues have been amplified by COVID … affordable housing, rising inequality and poverty, the need for diversification of a homegrown economy,” Ms Bolton said.
She said the latter could be achieved “by assuring we have Australian manufacturing and services to sustain and provide when global borders shutdown”.
Ms Bolton said Australia needed to provide health services that were not impacted by shortages and a society that could quickly respond in the areas of “education for our communities and our children on how to adapt, respond and cope”.
“There is no aspect of our current framework that does not need revisiting,” she said.
“Given the impact on every electorate across Queensland, I’m curious as to why I was the only MP to make a submission on behalf of my community,” she said.
Ms Bolton said the pandemic had given the community an opportunity look at how it could improve its response.
She said it had never been more urgent for governments to address decision-making that was constrained through outdated thought processes, bureaucracy and tick boxes.
“We saw the elements of our 200-year-old (democratic) framework that underpins all that we do was rejected to safeguard Queenslanders and very quickly so,” Ms Bolton said.
“This pandemic has created an opportunity to reimagine during the recovery phase how our world will look by capturing the intent and culture of all levels of government during this emergency and translates these into long-term behaviour and actions that will define real and lasting solutions,” she said.
She asked her fellow MPs if they would listen to the many public submissions presented to the inquiry and act accordingly.