Thursday, 3 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister take responsibility for the 21 failures in quarantine which have led to statewide lockdowns, severe health impacts and widespread economic disruption?
I take responsibility for the decision that we took as a nation in March of last year, as the pandemic struck and as we brought together the leaders of governments around this country in the space of days, where we had to surge quarantine capacity in this country to deal with the pandemic. That was achieved, and I thank the states and territories for coming together in this way to ensure that, in this country, there is a 99.99 per cent effectiveness rate in relation to hotel quarantine. Our effectiveness rate in this country even exceeds that in New Zealand, which also uses hotel quarantine. It even exceeds that in New Zealand, who have done an amazing job as well.
So I indeed take responsibility for putting in place a situation that has seen over 300,000 people go through quarantine in this country. Yes, there have been some 20 outbreaks that have occurred. That is the first ring of steel that is put in place when people come through and then there is the contract tracing that extends beyond that to ensure that we further protect Australians. What has been the outcome of this arrangement? In this country, sadly, we have lost 910 people—fatalities of COVID. Had we experienced the same fatality rate of OECD countries around the globe on average, that number would be over 30,000.
Mr Gosling interjecting—
So it is true. I am happy to say, as the chair of the national cabinet and the Prime Minister, that is an outcome that we have achieved together. If you want someone who wants to just take strips off people and fight and get narky on every issue and oppose the government to fix this crisis—