The government has been asked to consider well-being vouchers for Tasmanians to spend on fitness or art classes, yoga, beauty therapy and massage to help small businesses during the pandemic.
In State Parliament, the independent member for Clark, Madeleine Ogilvie said there was a “malaise” in the community and people were feeling flat.
“What we need to do now is focus on what we can do and not what we cannot do,” Ms Ogilvie said.
“Let us instil a sense of wellbeing in the community. Can we look at providing well-being services for all Tasmanians to improve their day-today lives?”
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Ms Ogilvie said she supported the travel voucher model but not everyone was able to travel.
“It would be great to see vouchers branded with ‘Tasmanian’ for people to use to improve their well-being while supporting local businesses.”
Premier Peter Gutwein said the government would look into the suggestion.
He rejected there was a sense of malaise but said he understood the concerns about dancing after comments by the Public Health director that dancing may not be allowed for 12 months.
“I know that has heightened the level of concern for some people, judging by the number of emails I have received in the period since,” Mr Gutwein said.
“Whilst my dancing years have long passed me, I can understand that for young people and those of more advanced age who like to dance as well, it is challenging and would have been challenging to hear that.”
Mr Gutwein said Public Health was concerned about dancing because of the close proximity of people and the risk of transmission.
“And the fact that people would usually be in a heightened state of physical activity, breathing heavily, so the opportunity for the virus to spread rapidly concerns Public Health and I share that concern,” he said.
“We have seen what happened in Queensland when people lied and went across the border.
“Whilst we have strong border controls in place, should the virus emerge if on a Saturday night somebody who was symptomatic and infectious was in a group of people dancing, on the Sunday morning those people will have no idea whether they have been infected or not.
“They might wake up a little sore and sorry for themselves but they will go back to work on the Monday. The way the virus progresses is that by Thursday they will have been back working in the aged care sector, or a hospital, or a shop, and are then symptomatic at that point.”