Senate debates

Thursday, 5 August 2021

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

COVID-19: Vaccination

3:02 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia) Share this | Hansard source

I've already done that, only about 30 seconds ago, if Senator Rennick would care to look back at it. Three times today Senator Birmingham was asked what action the Prime Minister would take about the disinformation campaign that is being run by three members of this government. Three times he wouldn't answer that question, and that is because this government is not going to take any action against any of these members who are out there spreading disinformation about COVID. How can we expect Australians to do the right thing and to follow the public health advice that this government is encouraging them to follow when the government's own members of parliament are out there spreading anti-mask, anti-lockdown, anti-science, anti-vaccine views, day after day after day, with complete impunity and with a complete lack of action from anyone in this government? So it's okay for Mr Morrison and other ministers to be out there encouraging, ordering, demanding that Australians do the right thing, but they do nothing about the fact that their own government members are out there encouraging Australians to do exactly the opposite.

Why won't this Prime Minister act on his rogue backbenchers? There are only two possible reasons. One is that he's too scared they will withdraw support for his government and not vote for the government's actions, and he's not prepared to stand up to them. The other, which is probably worse, is that this is a deliberate strategy from this government to court far-right extremist and conspiracist views while attempting to position itself in the middle ground. It's a disgrace. (Time expired)


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