Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Matters of Public Importance

Morrison Government

5:01 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I support this submission. In recent letters to the Prime Minister—in March, April and May—we expressed concern over the government's use of flawed modelling data to justify locking us all away and causing untold damage to our economy, businesses and jobs. The government's responses to these letters did not address the real issues, yet they stated: 'The government is well aware of the heavy economic and social toll created by the restrictions.' Today, now, we need to know where the plan is to rebuild our businesses and jobs—or will the Prime Minister just cut the COVID lifeline and feed our workers and businesses to the sharks?

We are already hearing about insolvency practices preparing to wind up many struggling Australian businesses, and as many as one in six could disappear soon. Back in the global financial crisis, the Labor government applied academic models that left us with high budget deficits and public debt. Yet they did not address the real problems, and soon we may have a national debt of well over $1 trillion—and nothing to show for it. What due diligence was done on flawed infection modelling from Professor Ferguson in Britain? That locked us all up. If this government had learnt early from nations like Taiwan and promptly adopted rigorous testing, combined with strict isolation for people with the virus and isolation of the vulnerable, the rest would have been returned to work far sooner, with minimal economic disruption. Taiwan, for example, isolated the sick and vulnerable. The healthy continued working. They have a strong economy. Their health is 15 times better than Australia's. The Prime Minister will really be tested in October, when the support stops and we see businesses and our economy unravel.


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