Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. When will the Prime Minister show leadership and rein in Senator Rennick, who is undermining the vaccination effort, spreading conspiracy theories and holding Australia back from being able to be opened up by undermining that very vaccination process? When will he stop pandering to Senator Rennick, offering him concessions and instead show leadership?
Opposition members interjecting—
I've only been going for three seconds! They're very touchy today. There he is, getting all upset and tetchy. Calm down! One of the people who I have relied on heavily is the member for Higgins. I have relied on the member for Higgins for her counsel and support. Her experience has guided the minister for health and me. I know who is opposing her at the next election. It's someone from the Labor Party who spoke against the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Honourable members interjecting—
This government has absolutely no truck at all with those who would speak against the importance of getting vaccines in this country. That is not my government's policy. That is not our government's policy. I would urge all Australians to continue to go and get that vaccine. I have such faith in Australians to do that that I don't think they have to be paid off like the Leader of the Opposition thought they had to be. I had great faith that they knew what they had to do to protect themselves, their families and their communities. The Labor Party had so little faith in the people of Australia that the Leader of the Opposition thought they had to pay them off to do the right thing by public health in this country. I let that reflect on the views that the Leader of the Opposition has about the strength and character of the Australian people. I have a better opinion of the people of Australia and what they are doing.
I will. I encourage all Australians to go and get the vaccination. It is this government that secured those vaccines, got them into arms and supported the national vaccination program, which has seen us rise to one of the highest levels of vaccination in the world. That is something I think Australians can all be proud of. I had my booster shot the other day with Jane Malysiak, and I was pleased to be with her again. And I was pleased to hear from Jane that, when she went to get her first injection, which I went with her to, and her second, that was also, in particular, encouraging older Australians, including in the very aged-care facility she lives in, to go and get vaccinated. And now I think we are sitting at over 99 per cent of first dose vaccinations, and even close to that on second dose vaccinations, for Australians aged over 70. I put my arm where the vaccines need to go, and our government's put its shoulder to the wheel when it comes to the vaccination program. That's why we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
I'm disappointed that there were those around the country who talked down the AstraZeneca vaccine. I'm disappointed they did, but those were all on the Labor side— (Time expired.)