Senate debates

Thursday, 12 August 2021


COVID-19: Morrison Government

1:55 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

Every day, Australians wake to a country deeper in crisis, a crisis caused by Mr Morrison's character. Cases of COVID are spreading and they are spreading through an Australian population that is mostly unvaccinated, and too many Australians are unvaccinated because Mr Morrison didn't act until it was too late to get vaccine deals and he didn't do enough deals. And then, when he got found out, he tried to make the excuse that it's not a race. Greater Sydney remains in protracted lockdown, which Mr Morrison pressured the New South Wales Premier to avoid, pressure that only lead to a bigger, longer lockdown and pressure that helped see the outbreak spread beyond Greater Sydney. South Australia and much of Queensland have been in and out of lockdown. Melbourne is in lockdown. The ACT is in lockdown. Much of regional New South Wales is in lockdown. The Hunter, Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Tamworth and Armadale, Dubbo, Bogan, Bourke, Gilgandra, Walgett and Warren are all in lockdown and many others.

It's long been said that character is destiny, and, as long as Mr Morrison remains Prime Minister, Australia's destiny is weighed down, held back by his character. We saw it in the bushfires. He said it didn't matter that he went to Hawaii because he didn't hold a hose. And we see it now: it doesn't matter that he stuffed up the vaccine rollout because it's not a race. He always leaves it too late and then all he offers are excuses, or he blames someone else, or he just dodges the issue, and it is Australians who suffer the consequences. Australians are owed more, and they deserve better from a government.


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