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Questions linger over health worker allegations

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Premier of Tasmania Peter Gutwein speaking to media ahead of a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in March (AAP Image/James Gourley)

Tasmania's Premier won't reveal the source of the Prime Minister's claim that a Tasmanian doctor lied to authorities during the northwest coast's coronavirus outbreak.

Rumours of a medico dinner party spreading the virus were never substantiated, and a subsequent inquiry instead pointed the finger at the Ruby Princess cruise.

Peter Gutwein has butted heads with Labor's David O'Byrne at a Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Accounts Inquiry on Monday morning.

O'Byrne: "How did he [Scott Morrison] get that information to say on radio that a healthcare worker lied and that therefore created a massive covid-cluster?"

Gutwein: "I'm not going to go into the Prime Minister's thought processes in terms of why he said what he said. Ultimately, it was said and we got on with the job"  

Members of the panel were generally complimentary of the state government reponse to the pandemic, as Premier Gutwein heaped praise on the team which led the way through the early stages.

Mr Gutwein also said an internal review of the government's Small Business Hardship Grants Scheme would be released "shortly" after being pressed on the matter by Mr O'Byrne.

Many businesses have said they missed out on the top level of funding under the program, or simply hadn't heard back.

Earlier this month the ABC revealed Hobart's exclusive and formerly 'men only' Athenaeum Club was one of the recipients.

Tags: coronavirus