Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4074 ..
COVID-19—testing centre fees
MR CAIN: My question is the Minister for Health: last week you said that people would not have to pay for the COVID-19 test but they would have to pay for a certificate if they needed one. Then you said people would get a refund of the whole $112, including the cost of the certificate. I invite you to be crystal clear, minister: will people have to pay anything for either a COVID-19 test or a certificate if needed for interstate or international travel?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Cain for the question. In line with the announcement that was made by Minister Hunt on behalf of all state and territory health ministers—thank you very much—the announcement was that the national partnership agreement funding would cover the cost of COVID-19 testing if it was required under a public health order and did not require the provision of a certificate.
On that basis Queensland also clarified that they would not be requiring the provision of a certificate and would only require text message proof of testing to enter Queensland. I understand other jurisdictions were clarifying their requirements. But if is that all people need for interstate travel and that is a result of a public health order in Australia, then they will be able to get their testing for free at ACT government-run sites. That information is all available on the COVID-19 website.
For international travel there is no change—certificates are clearly required for international travel. The requirement to have a test prior to international travel is not a requirement under any Australian jurisdictions’ public health orders, and people will need to pay for that test and certificate in the way that they have been required to throughout the pandemic. Again, that information is very clearly outlined on the ACT’s COVID-19 website.
MR CAIN: Minister, how will you be refunding all of the 314 people who have paid the fees given that some of these people will be from interstate and their addresses might be unknown?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Given ACT Pathology were invoicing people I imagine they would have the details required to send the invoice in the first place to bill people so they would, therefore, have the required details to contact those people to make the refunds.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, how many of the refunds have been paid to date?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take that question on notice.
Mr Barr: The absence of Mr Braddock means there are no further questions, so I ask that any further questions be placed on notice paper.
Supplementary answers to questions without notice
MS CHEYNE: In response to a question from Mr Braddock yesterday, when we were discussing citizenship ceremonies, I said that I was happy to talk about what else