Senate debates

Thursday, 5 August 2021


Prime Minister

1:56 pm

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

We've all come across that person—the bloke who wants the title, the big contract, the money or the glory but doesn't really want to do the job that goes with it; the middle manager from hell; the dodgy contractor who leaves his customers in the lurch and ends up on A Current Affair. When we come across these people in our day-to-day lives, it causes a lot stress and often costs us a lot of money. But when that person is supposed to lead our country through a pandemic, when that person is a prime minister, it's a crisis for us all.

Mr Morrison revealed his character during the bushfires, when he left Australians in the lurch and nicked off to Hawaii, and now he's done it again. He spent all last year telling premiers they shouldn't lock down. He said that not locking down was the gold standard. When Melbourne had a delta outbreak in June, he said he wanted to see the restrictions lifted as quickly as possible. That's what he said. Then, when this current delta outbreak started in Bondi, he said, 'I commend Premier Berejiklian for resisting going into a full lockdown.' Since he urged no lockdown for the Bondi cluster, it spread, causing lockdowns across Sydney, Victoria and South Australia, and today the Hunter has gone into seven days of lockdown. The cost in lives is tragic. The cost to jobs and the economy is reckless.

But now, like the dodgy contractor, he wants you to forget what he told you before. Now Mr Morrison says that the only way to deal with outbreaks is lockdowns. Isn't that amazing! Now he says that he supports lockdowns strongly. He has changed his tune, but he doesn't want you to notice that he has. This bloke's story changes every week, and Australians can't rely on anything he says. He's always ducking and weaving. He's always ducking responsibility. And do you know what? He's always blaming someone else, and it's Australians who are left in the lurch.