Prime Minister expected to announce COVID-19 pandemic inquiry

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is today set to announce Australia’s long-awaited inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.

While not a royal commission, it is expected to have the powers to call witnesses, reports Nine Newspapers.

The 12-month inquiry – to be announced by Anthony Albanese in Adelaide – will examine the response to the health emergency by federal and state governments.

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This includes the measures that impacted Australian lives, including lockdowns, border closures and economic impacts, introduced across the country from early 2020.

Victoria had some of the toughest measures, with Melbourne residents enduring six lockdowns from March 2020 to October 2021.

Composed of health and economic experts, the inquiry will assess whether federal, state and territory governments made the right calls.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison, who led Australia through the first two years of the pandemic, told the Australian Financial Review earlier this week that he would co-operate with an inquiry into COVID-19, but only on the condition it examined the role of and actions taken by the states as well as the federal government.

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He also said the inquiry should have the power to ensure state and territory officials appeared before it.

While Australia has had no nationwide investigation into the pandemic, there have been numerous academic and independent ones.

The federal government hopes the findings of the one to be announced today will offer lessons for future health emergencies. 


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