Thursday, 13 May 2021
Consideration of Legislation
I won't be supporting this either. This is a mixture of a lot of things. First of all, let's be honest: Liberal Party, you have failed so far. We've got just over 2½ million vaccine jabs on the road, so we're miles behind on that. It's not just Australians in India. We're now 15 or 16 months into this and we've still got stranded Australians who want to come home from countries that have now got COVID under control, and we still can't get them home. That is a failure of the government. You still have not set up places to quarantine them so that we can get them home. It really has been a failure, and, for that, they're paying the price.
In saying that, I will always put those on home soil first. I will always put them first and foremost, and I will never put their lives at risk. We will not do that. I'm sorry that there are Australians overseas, whether they're in India or not, but now they're going to have to pay the price. They're going to have to pay the price, if they're there, for the sake of everybody else. I do apologise. I know what you're saying. This is about jailing Australian citizens. Well, I'm telling you right now: I don't think threatening them with jail was a good idea, but, if you want to come home and put other Australians at risk, when there is no need to put the other 25 million of us at risk, you've got to weigh it up. I think it's a really harsh way of dealing—