House debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:41 pm

Photo of Mark ButlerMark Butler (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's government has set up a system with bipartisan support to share individual vaccination records with the states to make COVID passports work. Why does the Prime Minister then claim to oppose state vaccine mandates when his government provides a system for states to enforce them?

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

I would have thought the shadow minister would be familiar with the national plan. The national plan provided, as vaccination levels were rising—indeed, when they were below 80 per cent—that there is a need for restrictions to be in place. We work closely with the states and territories to ensure the vaccination records that we keep at a federal level could support state government policy, particularly that which was being done in accordance with the national plan.

We have been working together with states and territories to implement that plan, which today means that South Australia is opening. It means that in New South Wales, in Victoria and here in the ACT people can come and they do not have to quarantine for two weeks. It has enabled us to bring students and skilled migrants back. We're opening up to Japan, Korea and Singapore. We are implementing the national plan and we have worked with the states to help the implementation of that national plan. I am puzzled, therefore, why the shadow minister is unaware of those elements.