Indoor entertainment centres

Wednesday June 17, 2020

Question asked in Parliament

Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (14:56): My question is to the Premier. When will the government give indoor entertainment centres, such as Kaboom and the indoor Treehouse in Mount Gambier, clarification around a date they can reopen?

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (14:57): I thank the member for Mount Gambier for his question. I am not familiar with either of those two facilities, but he raises a question regarding larger venues. There isn't a simple answer because it really all depends on the activity which is taking place indoors. We are at the moment about to enter stage 3. Nominally, the upper limit for activities in stage 3 is 100, but we have already said that as part of stage 3 we are moving to a new arrangement, which is one person per four square metres, but there are some nuances around that, depending on what the activity is.

As the member would be aware, when the coronavirus pandemic was first declared we thought about the resourcing within the Chief Public Health Officer's agency. What we did was appoint three separate deputy chief public health officers. Dr Chris Lease is looking after this complex issue of working through sector by sector and, in some instances, organisation by organisation to work with them in identifying the risks and then mitigating against those risks. He has a very important task to do. As a government, we have stated many times that we don't want to have any restrictions in place that are going to hamper people getting back to work, getting people back to a sense of normality, but we do need to do it in a careful way, with the best health advice.

I am more than happy to follow up the issue and the premises that have been raised by the member and get back to him as quickly as possible. What I would say is that not only have we decided to lift that upper limit in stage 3 and make it a ruling generally of one person per four square metres, but we have also brought forward the effective date for stage 3 from 3 July to 29 June. In addition to that, we have created a stage 2.5, if you like, which will come into effect on Friday this week. This moves that upper limit for gatherings from 20 up to 75 for many, many applications, including, importantly, churches, places of worship, as well as hospitality in South Australia.

We've still got to abide by that one person per four square metres, but what we do have is a new upper limit which will come into effect this Friday, and I know this is going to provide enormous relief to people. So 75 persons per area, a maximum of 300 per venue. That is massively up on the current arrangements, which are 20 persons per area and a maximum of 80.

One of the things we are also looking at, and I am sure the house would be interested, is this density issue, the issue of one person per four square metres. What we are told is that this is unnecessarily disadvantaging some of our smaller venues. This was an issue I specifically raised at the national cabinet on Friday. It was acknowledged by the national cabinet, and Professor Murphy, who is the Chief Medical Officer for Australia and the chair of the AHPPC, is taking that on board. We are doing work here in South Australia on this issue as well to feed into that AHPPC advice because our goal is to get people back to work, back to normality, but doing it in a safe and considered way.