By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Gunner Government’s sole claim to fame, to have protected the NT from the ravages of COVID-18, which showed little sign of being on its way to the Territory, is looking shaky with Health Minister Natasha Fyles sidestepping isolation issues in the Howard Springs quarantine facility while inmates there are frolicking in groups, ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks.
Not that Mr Gunner has much to fear from the CLP Opposition, just recently managing to have a pulse again, with Shadow Minister for National Resilience Gerard Maley evading being interviewed.
Minister Fyles let slip that a man testing positive with the virus, albeit a “weak” result, was initially not in isolation at Howard Springs whose purpose – surely – is to deal with people who could be carrying the virus and keeping them apart.
COVID Media NT’s standard non-answer: “The patient’s weak positive result is likely related to his previous COVID-19 infection, however as a precaution he is being kept in isolation under the care of the health service as per our NT policy.”
Messy handling of quarantine caused the Victoria’s ongoing problems with another outbreak reported today.
That and the Howard Springs party emerging on social media (pictured) would be grist to the mill of a vigorous Opposition – if we had one.
Clawing back some ground after near annihilation in the 2016 election the CLP has now adopted the insidious media policies of the government they are meant to be keeping a check on.
Mr Maley dodged two requests from the Alice Springs News for an interview about Howard Springs: One to him direct via his government email, and another via the Chief of Staff of Opposition Leader Lea Finocchiaro, Tim Dixon.
Mr Dixon wanted us to email questions. The routine, he explained, is for the answers to be vetted by several people whom he did not name.
If Mr Maley can’t handle talking to a reporter direct then he is in the wrong game, we said to Mr Dixon.
He said he would pass on this message.