1 June, 2021
Independent Zali Steggall MP has called for national quarantine capacity to be doubled and for the Government to introduce a Roadmap to Reopening, in a motion that will be introduced to Parliament tomorrow (June 2).
“The Government needs to come up with a long-term Roadmap to Reopening, which includes doubling capacity of national quarantine facilities using best practice purpose-built facilities,” Ms Steggall said.
“It is becoming untenable for the federal Government to have no long-term plan.
“Australia has only delivered 4.24 million doses, with a 7 day rolling average of 90,100 doses. At that rate it will take 15 months to vaccinate the whole population. This needs to change.
“The Government says the borders will be open in 2022, but at the current vaccination rate, that is doubtful if we don’t also increase quarantine capacity. Experts have said we are likely to be dealing with COVID-19 strains for the next four to six years.
“Australia’s borders closed in March 2020 and have now been closed for over 14 months. A third of Australians are born overseas and are struggling with the separation from family or partners overseas and the Government has refused to date to extend travel exemption categories to family members and visa holders.
“Additionally, business and industries are also suffering, saying there needs to be a solution for Australia to reopen its borders.
“There are, however, solutions on the table – facilities like Howard Springs can still be expanded and other similar facilities should be opened in every state.
“We also need to see this expanded to double the capacity. That is why I am introducing the motion to Parliament tomorrow.”
The motion to be introduced into Parliament on June 2, 2021, calls on the Government to:
- a) Double the capacity of national quarantine facilities using best practice purpose-built facilities such as Howard Springs;
- b) Prioritise expenditure to accelerate the rollout of the vaccine with a goal of achieving vaccination of at least 80 percent of the population before the end of the year; and
- c) Establish a clear roadmap for safely reopening Australian borders and clearly communicate goals and timeframes by reporting back to this Parliament and the Australian people without delay.
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