Wednesday, 1 September 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Yesterday the Prime Minister said:
Ultimately, everything is a state matter …
Was it the states or was it the Prime Minister who failed to establish a system of safe national quarantine?
Again the question from Labor is misrepresenting the statements of yesterday. I've made it very clear that the border measures that are put in place by the states relate to public health orders, and they are clearly responsibilities of the states when it comes to people moving from one state to another. So I ask that the Labor Party cease misrepresenting that.
But I'm asked about quarantine. The most important challenge for quarantine right now is to ensure that home quarantine trials are successful so home quarantine becomes the norm that enables Australians who are overseas to return, that enables Australians who are here now and who have been vaccinated to go overseas as they used to and to return and quarantine at home. This is the very matter I was discussing only last night with the New South Wales Premier because it's so important to enable international travel to start again. Home quarantine is the answer to that. That is what is set out in the national plan. That is what is agreed in the national plan. That is what has been led by the Commonwealth in moving us into a home quarantine phase that will enable Australians to travel again. It will enable more people to come into the country, be they students or be they skilled workers that are so necessary for Australia's economic performance. They can take advantage of a range of different quarantine arrangements, both commercially provided and otherwise provided, that will enable the national plan to gear up and strengthen our economy into the future. So home quarantine is what is needed. Home quarantine is what is going to release Australians out of the lockouts, out of the lockdowns, to ensure that Australia can live safely with this virus. I would urge all members of this chamber to support the move to go now to home quarantine. That will see Australians who are vaccinated able to return home and vaccinated Australians able travel again to be reunited with family overseas.
That is the challenge that's now before us. That's what was set out in the national plan that I took to the national cabinet and was agreed to, and I look forward to working closely—whether it is in South Australia, where the trial is already underway, or in New South Wales, where further trials will be done. And I encourage all other states, be it Queensland, Western Australia or Tasmania, to get on board with those initiatives. I know they're watching those trials very closely, and they'll be very enthusiastic about taking them up, because the national plan enables Australians to live with the virus, and home quarantine enables Australians to live with the virus and connect again with each other and those all around the world.