Senator Richard Colbeck to Attend Senate COVID Inquiry Hearing Following Ashes Controversy | The Examiner

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Senior Services Minister Richard Colbeck will appear before a Senate inquiry hearing on the government’s response to COVID-19 on Wednesday after refusing to appear last month. Senator Colbeck was recently forced to defend the decision because he attended the ashes in Hobart the same day he was asked by a Senate committee to appear. In response to a request from the committee chair on January 9 to face the inquiry five days later, he wrote that he was concerned about the timing of the hearing. READ MORE: Community Celebrates Lunar New Year and Year of the Tiger “The COVID-19 pandemic is at a critical point with the onset of numerous Omicron outbreaks,” Senator Colbeck wrote. “Diverting time and resources, including those of senior departmental leaders who play a key role in managing Omicron’s current outbreaks, to testify before the committee at this critical time would impact the urgent and critical work that the department undertakes.” It was later revealed in an update to his Register of Interests that he attended the historic first day of the ashes in Hobart on January 14. READ MORE: Activity in Tasmania’s emergency services examined in new report A spokesperson for Senator Colbeck said last month the senator attended only one of three Ashes Days. He said the senator attended a meeting on the vaccine and COVID response on the same day, as well as other meetings related to his senior care portfolio and the government’s response to COVID. “Minister Colbeck’s decision to attend the Ashes Test in Hobart was made as part of his commitments as Sports Minister and Senator for Tasmania,” he said. What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:

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Norman D. Briggs