Senate debates

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Matters of Urgency

COVID-19: Quarantine

4:12 pm

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

I really felt, after we'd been out of this place for six weeks, that it was like to coming back to school almost—new year, new teacher, you weren't quite sure what room you were supposed to be in. But clearly those opposite missed out on that. They haven't quite got the same fresh approach, coming back after six weeks, because they are still spouting the same old negative energy. Nothing is right. Nothing is ever good enough. It wouldn't matter which way we looked, which way we went; those opposite would find a way to complain.

But what I think is incredibly interesting is that it's not everyone in Labor who has looked at the situation in India and constantly flip-flopped, changed their position and taken a politically expedient position just because it's the opposite of what the Morrison government has done. In fact, there are many in Labor who have actually embraced the decisions that the Morrison government has made, based on health advice, making sure that Australians are safe. I just thought I would take this opportunity to remind those opposite of what some of their colleagues have said, and perhaps they might like to take this on board and, with regard to their objections, raise it with them, because it might get a little bit awkward at some of those federal council convention things you all get together with.

Admittedly I am not a big fan of Mark McGowan, the Premier of the one-party state. He said he could do it all, and then, as soon as he got one case, he shut the borders again, shut everybody down, closed the businesses, panicked, overreacted—the knee-jerk McGowan that we always tend to see. But even Mark McGowan here decided to support Prime Minister Morrison and the coalition government. I quote:

With more and more arrivals coming from India, we need to seriously look at temporarily restricting travel of people who have been in or through India. … They are trying to put a stop to the third wave—

That would be us, the Morrison government, trying to stop that third wave—

however in Australia we need to do everything we can to keep this double mutant variant away.

So it was, in fact, the Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, who came out urging—in fact, normally when it's Mr McGowan, it's demanding—the federal government to suspend flights out of India. 'There needs to be a suspension,' Mr McGowan told reporters. But it wasn't just Mr McGowan in the one state of WA; it was also 'Princess Palaszczuk' up in Queensland, the woman who likes to claim—


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