South Australia’s Premier has admitted that not all of the modelling underpinning the state’s COVID-19 roadmap has so far been received by health authorities and the state government.
- SA will significantly relax border restrictions on November 23
- The opposition is urging the government to release modelling used as the basis for the plan
- Premier Steven Marshall conceded some of it was still being “finalised”
Steven Marshall on Wednesday announced the state’s COVID-Ready plan, which includes the removal of border restrictions for double-vaccinated, incoming travellers from New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT on November 23.
Mr Marshall has acknowledged that the state’s COVID-19 caseload will inevitably increase from that date.
“We will be letting the Delta variant into South Australia but we’re going to do it only when it’s safe to do so,” he told parliament.
He said modelling used as the basis for the plan indicated that such a point would be reached when 80 per cent of the state’s population had been double-vaccinated.
But the modelling has not been publicly released — a decision defended by both the Premier and Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier who, when asked on Tuesday about specific figures, said she was “not going to answer that question”, and that the data would be publicly released “when it’s the right time”.
Mr Marshall on Wednesdayconceded he had not read all of that information — because some of the modelling had not yet been “finalised”.
“The first set has been received here in South Australia, the second set is pending and no, I haven’t read that second set,” Mr Marshall told parliament.
Mr Marshall said the state’s COVID-Ready plan relied on two sets of modelling — the first provided by the Doherty Institute to National Cabinet, the second by “people who have, in the past, provided advice to the Doherty Institute”.
“They provided supplementary advice to us here in South Australia and that has been already received but there is more work which is being done, and we look forward to receiving that final information,” he said.
“We do still want to receive this additional information which will better inform what public health social measures, and also what test, trace, isolate and quarantine regime we put in place as we get closer to the 90 per cent.
“We’re satisfied with the information that was received that we could move to the removal of the restrictions … as of the 23rd of November.
“What I can tell the house is that we will be releasing in a consolidated format the advice that we have received.”
But Mr Marshall further conceded that that would not necessarily include the Doherty Institute advice provided to National Cabinet, because it would “not be appropriate” without authorisation from federal authorities.
Health Minister Stephen Wade told Parliament he had read the Doherty Institute’s research, but that “further modelling” would be forthcoming.
“That’s why I’m relying on the evidence, the science and the expert advice.”
The opposition accused the government of “deliberately withholding” crucial information.
“We have seen other states around the country releasing their modelling to the public,” health spokesman Chris Picton said.
“All of that modelling … shows very clearly the curves in terms of what the expected number of cases are, what the expected number of hospitalisations are, what the expected number of ICU patients are, what the expected number of deaths are.”
Posted , updated