COVID-19: Thank you SA Police

COVID-19: Thank you SA Police

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, almost every country has been left to grapple with extraordinary challenges. Borders have been slammed shut, economies have ground to a halt, health system capacities have been tested and unfortunately lives have been and continue to be lost. Whilst we have been extremely fortunate in Australia, we have not been immune to the challenges and tragedies of COVID-19. South Australia has recorded 730 cases, four deaths, and encounters the prospect that these numbers could continue to rise.

There is no doubt that since the first Australian COVID-19 cases were detected in late January 2020 the lives of South Australians have dramatically changed. As a government we have fought COVID-19 on two fronts. Firstly, the health and safety of South Australians has been the primary concern of this state government. Restrictions of different kinds have been placed at various times for months to ensure we protect the South Australian community.

The second part of the battle against COVID-19 is how to best support jobs, workers, businesses and the economy. The restrictions have undoubtedly been tough on employees and employers. That is why the state and federal Liberal governments have unlocked record economic stimulus, infrastructure projects and tax cuts. These measures have been designed to support employment opportunities for South Australians and to provide relief to the hip pocket.

When observing the terrible tragedy occurring overseas, I am proud of each and every South Australian for playing their part in keeping our state safe. I am also proud of our government’s collaborative approach with the federal government, South Australian Health and South Australia Police to manage the COVID-19 outbreak. Difficult times may still lie ahead of us, but we have shown that South Australia can cope with the complex challenges involved with the pandemic.

South Australia’s ongoing management of COVID-19 has involved many organisations and individuals who have done an outstanding job. As they continue their work contributing to South Australians’ COVID-19 efforts, I believe this is a timely opportunity to thank them for their dedication. Frontline workers, medical professionals, SA Pathology, SA Health and SA Police have all been crucial to keeping South Australians safe during 2020 and now into 2021.

These organisations and individuals deserve our continued gratitude. However, I would like to take this opportunity to particularly thank the men and women of South Australia Police. The government’s response to COVID-19 has given SA Police a unique set of responsibilities. As our communities face evolving restrictions, SA Police were at the forefront of enforcing these measures. The gravity and burden of the changing responsibilities on SA Police over the past 12 months could not have been foreshadowed or planned for.

Despite how quickly COVID-19 has changed our community, SA Police have been able to swiftly respond. One of the greatest changes to occur in South Australia and around our nation has been the closure of state borders. We have not seen states and territories limit and deny movement within Australia in this fashion since Federation. Border closures have now become an unfortunate reality of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The South Australian-Victorian border was our most affected border, which required SA Police to enforce travel restrictions at entry and exit points. For months police officers from around the state worked to man our border with Victoria on top of their vital, everyday duty in their communities. Border restrictions were extremely difficult for the affected communities, such as those in the Riverland and Mallee and in the South-East, but the work by SA Police in enforcing travel restrictions was crucial to reducing the risk to South Australia during the height of COVID-19 transmission.

Our South Australian police have been required to enforce restrictions on community movement as well as oversee the inception of COVID marshals, COVID-safe plans and patron limits on businesses. I know our police force are extremely grateful for the South Australian community’s response to the restrictions. It has made their job much easier; however, these men and women have still spent countless time away from their families ensuring the job gets done and we will be forever grateful to them for this.

So I wish to thank our police for how they approach this challenging time in our community. Thank you to each and every police officer, all of whom have ably assisted in absorbing the additional volume of work required due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Your dedication and efforts have not gone unnoticed. I look forward to all South Australians continuing to work together to ensure our state remains safe and healthy.


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