Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Senator Reynolds. I refer to the Australian government's document entitled Australia's COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy. It was available on the Department of Health and Ageing website. Can the minister confirm that at page 2 of that document, setting out the COVID-19 vaccine national rollout strategy, aged-care and disability care staff are listed under phase 1a?
Thank you very much. Yes, I can confirm that. As I said in my previous answer, the majority of the 270,000 workers are in 1b, and it is possible that a number of workers who work in residential aged care were vaccinated as part of the aged-care rollout.
Despite now being given multiple opportunities to correct the record, the minister has continued to insist that she is correct when she says that disability support workers were classified in 1b. Will this minister now correct the record?
As I've said, there were some workers who were in 1a, and I've said that's exactly right, but the majority are in 1b. The majority of the 270,000 workers—the support staff and care workers—are in 1b.
When the minister herself doesn't even understand the Morrison government's COVID-19 vaccine rollout to disability support workers and she has no idea how many disability support workers have been fully vaccinated, how can Australians living with a disability and their families possibly trust this minister to protect them?
I stand by what I said, and that is that we are now rolling out, through five channels, vaccinations for workers, for participants and also for support workers and for their carers. It is true that in 1a some of the workers who work in either residential aged care or disability homes may have been vaccinated, but the majority now have the opportunity to get vaccinated at their convenience through five different methods.