ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has blasted claims that the government has not been transparent throughout the COVID outbreak as "patently ridiculous".
Labor and Greens members of the territory's Legislative Assembly have agreed to an amended motion from Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee for a select committee to be established to scrutinise the government's pandemic response.
"[After] the lockdown extension and lack of plan many Canberrans are seeking answers," she said.
"These are serious questions that must be asked here and our community deserves answers from the Chief Minister, his cabinet and government officials."
Ms Stephen-Smith rejected that the government had not answered questions around these matters and accused the opposition of not paying attention.
"This is an ongoing pattern of the opposition, probably not watching press conferences and then indicating that we hadn't said X, when we've actually been very clear," she said.
"We've been discussing for weeks and weeks and months, our decision making processes and everything that goes into them."
However, Ms Stephen-Smith welcomed the establishment of the committee.
Deputy opposition leader Giulia Jones said the committee was needed as officials were not compelled to answer questions in press conferences.
"They continue at the whim of the Chief Minister who has been generous but who [has] questioned the approach to journalism of the journalists whom he appeared to disagree with," Mrs Jones said.
"The press conferences will not be recorded in Hansard and will not be able to be analysed once recordings are taken off the websites of the agencies recording them, which is needed an additional reason for the establishment of this committee."
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr said arrangements would need to be made to ensure the committee did not interfere with the policy response.
"It's an important accountability measure but equally it cannot be a reason to drag senior public health officials and senior government ministers away from the number one task, which is responding to this pandemic," he said.
Ms Lee will chair the committee. Greens crossbencher Jo Clay and Labor backbencher Suzanne Orr will also sit on the committee. The Canberra Liberals had originally called for two members from the opposition to sit on the committee.
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