QR Check-Ins Checking Out?

South Australians seem to be going easy on the QR Code check-ins of late.

From my viewing across the EP, Commissioner Stevens is right to note that check-ins are rather lower than they should be.

Wudinna, Streaky Bay, Lincoln, Tumby Bay, Cummins – all places I have been in the last month and all places I have seen more people ignoring the codes than not.

QR Codes have been a hot topic the last week or so, after Professor Nicola Spurrier floated the idea of the codes, and check-ins, becoming a permanent part of life in South Australia.

Commissioner Stevens was very keen, and quick, to banish that suggestion to the round filing cabinet on the floor, but it nonetheless comes at a very bad time for the Commissioner.

If people are already cooling on the check-ins, what happens when people feel like it’s no longer a public health measure?

In my admittedly brief time in SA, I can attest to having a much higher level of trust in Grant Stevens than I have had in many public servants I have met, because I’ve seen and spoken to SAPOL in action, and they engender a feeling a trustworthiness.

However, that only goes so far when the State Government now goes down the path of issuing a contract for facial recognition software and GPS tracking.

There’s a limit for everyone as far as trusting those we don’t know, and dare I say we appear to be reaching the line, particularly when it comes to government.

I don’t mean Steven Marshall or Peter Malinauskas, either.

I mean those who have a job regardless of who is in control of the purse strings on North Terrace.

Those who sit in back offices and have no contact with the general public.

To begin with, it’s not like governments in South Australia have a clean record of performance when it comes to getting things right.

Then there’s the not unheard of situation of misuse of government resources.

Those in the bureaucracy have extraordinary power, and they often live in a somewhat separate existence to the rest of us, meaning they sometimes lose touch with reality.

This is not unique to SA.

It happens everywhere you look.

Which is why Commissioner Stevens should make it clear.

He will work hard to ensure back room operators who have no public interaction don’t turn us into what was supposed to be a satire, on the condition we hold up our end until the pandemic subsides.

He’s done a great job so far, even if I haven’t always agreed with all the decisions taken, but sooner or later everyone gets sick of being told what to do.

The Commissioner is looking out for us.

We should look out for him.