Minister: 'I will joyfully dump QR codes'
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello has vowed to dump QR codes as soon as possible, acknowledging they "hindered" the customer experience.
However, the minister who fought to make the electronic check-in system mandatory for high-risk venues said the electronic check-in system could have a place post-pandemic in places such as schools to record attendance details.
The pledge to scrap the check-in system came as the State government clocked up its 50 millionth check-in last week, with more than two million people using the code to sign-in each day.
It can also be revealed 322 fines have been issued to venues who have failed to implement the electronic check-in system under a SafeWork NSW, Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Fair Trading enforcement program. These include 18 fines worth $10,000 each and 224 worth $5000.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Dominello said QR codes may have a place post-pandemic in places such as schools to collect attendance details.
And with 3.5 million downloads of the Service NSW app, the State stood ready to respond "hard, fast and local" if needed as a result of another outbreak, he said. "I was the minister responsible for introducing QR codes for contact tracing, but the second the pandemic is behind us, I will be the first person to turn them off as they hinder the customer experience," Mr Dominello said.
The state government made the sign-in system mandatory on January 1 with every business forced to use the Service NSW QR code or face a fine.
"Post pandemic QR codes will hopefully remain in place for venues that require attendance details such as schools but for everything else I will be the first to turn them off and do so joyfully."
The push to make QR codes mandatory was met with some resistance within the State government, with some bureaucrats of the view that the public would find it unwieldy with businesses seeing it as more government red-tape.
However, the adoption of the system is now being viewed as a game-changer for NSW Health contact tracers who can track down patrons at a venue of concern at speed.
Along with the possibility of using QR codes in schools, it is understood government officials are also keen to see the system used for large-scale public data collection exercises such as a census. Cobargo Hotel publican Dave Allen said the QR code system was enabling businesses such as his to stay open but incentives for older people should be explored.
Originally published as Minister: I will 'joyfully' dump QR codes