Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (13:52): We’ve all been dealing with the effects of the COVID outbreak back in our electorates, helping where we can. Some electorates are affected more than others. In South Australia at the moment we’re in pretty good shape. But it seems, with the announcement two hours ago by the ACT government, that the delta strain of the virus—we assume—has reached the seat of the national parliament and we’re now starting to deal with the same repercussions that many others have been dealing with back in our individual electorates.
I’ll just make the point that this can be a tough place at the best of times, but everybody will be under personal pressure. While we won’t be able to meet on the weekend, go out and maybe go to the theatre together, we can all stay in touch through the wonders of modern technology. Make sure that your mates are feeling all right and make sure that all of our friends are calling home—once a day at least is my rule. Some of us, like me, have a grown-up family who don’t live with me anymore, but others have much more pressing needs on a daily basis.
While I give my concern to the members in this place, there are their staff too. Not everybody has brought staff this week, but those of us who have jobs to do in the parliament over and above the normal member duties have—I have. They too have families who are going through exactly the same thing, so I’d just ask for a bit of care and understanding—common kindness—between us all at the moment in what is a difficult time.