24 June, 2021
It's disgraceful that so many members in this place are focused on little power plays while the pandemic still profoundly impacts communities. We have now had closed international borders for 15 months. State borders close with little notice, causing distress and confusion for families, businesses and communities as a whole. Are we not still one country? Industries such as tourism and event management have been devastated.
There's no clear messaging coming from this government. We were told that many measures were an emergency response to allow for more time to build up our health capacity while we waited for a vaccine. Those vaccines were developed in record time, yet their rollout has been a debacle. The outbreak management approach is to vaccinate the most mobile in the population—that is the 20- to 39-year-olds. Yet that is not happening; the vaccine is not even open or accessible to them. Today we had the Prime Minister telling the nation it would be a mistake to think that if you have high rates of vaccination you won't get cases. Jeez! He sounds like an antivaxxer now! He's not even encouraging people to get vaccinated. When are we actually going to have a plan that is actually going to get things safe? It is insane that the Prime Minister of the country is not doing everything possible to encourage people to actually get vaccinated. We need Pfizer; we need the vaccine that will actually protect those that are mobile in our population. Where is the plan?