Motions - Quarantine Facility in Victoria - Approval of Work

The government had two jobs this year: to get the vaccination rollout sorted out, and to get hotel quarantine out of the picture and get a national quarantine program in place. They have failed at both. Hotel quarantine was okay at the start. We are 15 months into this pandemic. It was okay at the start; it was a good short-term measure. But, instead, they've let it run on and on. There has been a complete failure of leadership at the national level to get a national quarantine system in place. Every state of this Commonwealth needs a national quarantine system centre in it, including my state of Tasmania. I'm pleased to see that Victoria is finally getting one, but Victoria is not the only state in this country. Where's Queensland? Where's New South Wales? Where's Western Australia? Where's South Australia?

This government is failing this country by not having a national quarantine program. Hotels are okay for tourists, but they're not good for quarantine. They are a transmission risk. There is plenty of evidence now that this is an airborne virus and that people are catching this disease in quarantine. They're overseas, they've withstood the virus overseas, they haven't caught it, they've come home to Australia, they have gone into quarantine and they are catching it in hotels, and this Prime Minister says: 'That's fine. This hotel quarantine system works just fine.' That's what he says. It's an absolute disgrace. It is a complete failure of national leadership by this Prime Minister.

We have 36,000 Australians stuck overseas and we have a tourist PM who's quite happy to gallivant around the United Kingdom, which he says is too dangerous for Australians to go to. But he'll happily go on a pub crawl and have his photo taken on the outskirts of the UK. It's one rule for him and another rule for the rest of Australia. There has been no urgency from this Prime Minister in getting this sorted out. And why would he have urgency when he's alright, Jack? The PM is okay; he can travel in and out on a whim. But Australians can't, because there's no national quarantine system to look after them.

This has to be said: what an absolute disgrace the vaccination program is under this government. We've all seen the advertisement from France. France has a wonderful promotion to get its citizens vaccinated, and we know why we don't have one in this country. It's because there are not enough vaccines. If the government had a promotion saying, 'Get vaccinated,' and people responded to it, they'd be stopped at the door: 'Sorry, we don't have any vaccines for you.' That's why we don't have an effective public information program like the one they are rolling out in France.

This government and this Prime Minister had two jobs this year: get the vaccination rollout sorted out—fail—and get hotel quarantine off the books and get a national quarantine system in place, and that is a massive, big, red F for this Prime Minister.