'Hopefully we won't pay for their arrogance': Concerns about Parliament anti-maskers

Member for Bean David Smith wears a face mask from local designer Darkies Design. Picture: Supplied

Member for Bean David Smith wears a face mask from local designer Darkies Design. Picture: Supplied

A Canberra MP has hit out at politicians and staffers ignoring recommendations to wear masks around Parliament House, saying it would be Canberrans who paid "for their arrogance" if there was a coronavirus outbreak.

The presiding officers issued a statement last week recommending all building occupants in Parliament House wear a mask in common areas, based on advice from the acting chief medical officer.

Parliament House staff have been handing out mask packs to people as they enter the building, while others have been wearing reusable masks.

However Member for Bean David Smith said a "stubborn few" were putting others at risk by failing to comply.

"Most parliamentarians and their advisers are trying to do the right thing, not just in abiding by the guidance of the presiding officers in wearing masks in public spaces but by having respect for the rest of the varied workforce at Parliament House in doing so," Mr Smith said.

"There are a stubborn few though who refuse to do so - probably the few that think they inhabit a rarefied airspace to which they have more rights than others. Hopefully we won't pay for their arrogance."

Kristy McBain and Anthony Albanese arrive fully masked for a Labor caucus meeting. Picture: Karleen Minney

Kristy McBain and Anthony Albanese arrive fully masked for a Labor caucus meeting. Picture: Karleen Minney

However Member for Canberra Alicia Payne said she felt confident that Parliament "has gone to every effort to keep Canberra safe, with masks, hand sanitiser, and social distancing measures".

It came after House of Representatives Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan rejected reports they had overruled the acting chief medical officer on making masks mandatory in Parliament House.

"To make it clear, we have always followed the advice from the Chief Medical Officer or his office when it comes to measures being adopted in Parliament House," the presiding officers said.

Senator Ryan also said if masks were mandated in Parliament House, even if they were not required across the rest of the territory, he would take that to the Senate.

Clerks in the House of Representatives wear masks during question time on Tuesday. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Clerks in the House of Representatives wear masks during question time on Tuesday. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

This story 'Hopefully we won't pay for their arrogance': Concerns about Parliament anti-maskers first appeared on The Canberra Times.

Comments