Senate debates

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

COVID-19: Vaccination

3:01 pm

Photo of Kimberley KitchingKimberley Kitching (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate take note of the answers given by the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services (Senator Reynolds) to questions without notice asked by Senators Brown, Ciccone and O'Neill today relating to COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Morrison government's rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for those living with a disability has been woeful—woeful under this minister and woeful under the previous minister. In fact—let's face it—it's almost non-existent. In Senate estimates less than a fortnight ago, it was revealed that—wait for it—355 people out of more than 22,000 people with disabilities living in residential settings had been vaccinated, despite being in the highest priority group, 1a. That's right: 1a. There has been a slight update to that figure, but it's still well below what would be rightly expected in a wealthy, relatively privileged First World country such as ours.

I was shocked when the government confirmed that they had not kept a record of how many disability workers had been vaccinated. As Senator O'Neill asked in her question, how could families possibly trust this minister to protect them? Oh, you're leaving? Really? You're leaving? You don't want to hear any of this? Really?


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