Speeches

The Prime Minister had two jobs

August 10, 2021

South-East Queensland has just come out of its fifth lockdown. We know such lockdowns are necessary, but there's a financial and human cost with each one. Local businesses suffer, casual staff lose wages and the education of our children is disrupted. And, with each lockdown, people are getting more and more frustrated.

And so they should be. Prime Minister Morrison has been paid well to do two jobs during this pandemic: to provide a safe national quarantine system and a speedy and effective vaccine rollout. He has failed on both counts. He promised we would be at the front of the global vaccine queue. He promised that four million Australians would be vaccinated by March. He promised that all Australians would have the opportunity to be vaccinated by October this year. He promised all Australians who wanted to come home that they would be home by last Christmas. Instead, Aussies have been prevented from coming home because we're still relying on tourist hotels to quarantine travellers. Hotels were never meant to be used for quarantine purposes—they leak.

Today, three states are in lockdown. About 13 million Australians are in lockdown and the New South Wales lockdown alone is costing about a billion dollars a week. Eighteen months into this pandemic there are still more than 35,000 Australians stranded overseas, waiting to come home—many in dire straits. We're still waiting for fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities to be built, people want to be vaccinated but there just aren't enough vaccines available and lockdowns are our confronting reality.

Prime Minister, you had two jobs. You have failed to do both and it's time you went.

ON YOUR SIDE