House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:54 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister take responsibility for the words that came out of his own mouth—that the vaccine rollout is 'not a race'?

2:55 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I addressed this matter earlier this week and I stood by the comments as they were made at the time and I concur with the statements made by Professor Brendan Murphy at that time and since, in Senate estimates.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Bruce will leave under standing order 94(a).

The member for Bruce then left the chamber.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I note that these are similar to comments that were made by Queensland Health. I notice there are similar comments that were made by Dr Khorshid, the head of the AMA. If the opposition leader believes this is a matter that he wishes to continue to pursue, I'm happy to continue answering. Yes, I said that.

It's imperative that we move forward as quickly as possible in relation to the vaccination program, and that's why I'm pleased that 141,000 doses were delivered in the last 24 hours. I'm very pleased that in the last week there have been over 720,000 doses, I think, delivered—over 700,000 doses in seven days. I'm very pleased that we saw two million doses delivered in the last month, when it took us over two months to do the first two million doses. I'm very pleased that the vaccination program continues to gather pace.

I'm very appreciative of the role that is being played by state and territory governments and GPs around the country. We're all—the Australian government, the states and territories, the GPs—getting on with the job, and, indeed, pharmacists will become part of this. I'm very appreciative of the role of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, going out and supporting 80,000 Australians. We're all getting on with that job. The Leader of the Opposition is just engaged in one job: undermine the government.