Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

COVID-19: Vaccination, JobKeeper Payment

3:44 pm

Photo of Hollie HughesHollie Hughes (NSW, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Here we go again: every single day, whatever it is, there can never be any recognition from those opposite that Australia has weathered the COVID pandemic better than all major advanced nations, in both economic and health terms. It doesn't matter where we're talking. It doesn't matter if we're looking at the $267 billion that's gone directly to economic and health support for Australians—we can't talk about the $267 billion that has benefited Australians through this pandemic without hearing doom and gloom from those opposite. And as everyone around the world has experienced when their vaccine programs have launched, it's been slow and steady as the vaccine rollout starts up. That's the sensible, medical based approach that's been taken around the world. But, yet again, the Labor Party have to come in with all their complaints, all their worries, all their concerns—which we know is part of their generalised faux outrage about everything.

One moment they're calling for the vaccine to be rolled out as fast as possible, and the next they're crying out about safety. We couldn't have consistency of message! We couldn't have anything that doesn't absolutely look like hypocrisy! We've seen it this week. At the March 4 Justice we saw Tanya Plibersek and Senator Waters—with Senator Waters being shuttered away by Tanya Plibersek as Kathy Sherriff tried to address the March. But: 'No, no, no; we only want to focus on one side as we politicise this issue.' Yet again, this hypocrisy is coming through, because one minute, 'The vaccine's not happening fast enough,' and the next minute, 'We're not sure how safe it's going to be; we need to make sure those in aged care have more surety, and we're not sure about each different type of vaccine.' Yet again the hypocrisy comes through.

I think you'd have a much better time, on a general day-to-day basis, if you just eased back on the anger about everything. The faux outrage must be exhausting. I mean, you really must be tired, and I do feel sorry for you all. For all of these Australians—the 164,000 who have received vaccines—the other side of this is that we in the Morrison government have ensured that we have sovereignty over vaccines, that we're able to produce our own vaccines and have sovereignty. We will not be beholden to exports from the world once we establish the production means that we have organised for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be delivered in a sovereign way to Australians. This domestic production will start with a delivery of one million per week from late March. But no, that's not good enough over here; they're going to have to get a little outraged up there. They probably don't like advanced manufacturing very much, either, and are probably not too happy about job creation happening in this country.

We heard today, regarding JobKeeper, which opposition leader Albanese absolutely stated should be tapered out—but he's obviously a little distracted this week while he's trying to ignore a Facebook chat group—that they've changed their mind again. Living wages, handouts and subsidisation of industry are all part of your mantra. We want Australians to get back to normal life. We want pre-COVID existence to come back. We want Australians to have security in their own businesses and in their jobs. And that's going to happen through the vaccine. I'm sure you guys won't be lining up for it, as you've objected to it every step of the way. But I'm sure that, with more hypocrisy, you'll come through, because you'll be advocating confidence or whatever you're looking for as you criticise the rollout, as you criticise the safety.


No comments