The Morrison government's failure to secure vaccines is the country's most pressing issue as tragic lockdowns on the mainland attest. But the vaccines will come, so the next challenge is to get them into arms as quickly as possible. The vast majority of Australians will absolutely roll up their sleeves without hesitation. But there are 10 to 20 per cent who will need encouragement.
Labor's proposal for a $300 payment to every Australian who gets vaccinated by 1 December will drive up vaccinations to the 80 or 90 per cent, which is where we need them to be to make the community safe. It would put $300 in the pockets of Australians who are doing it hard—especially casual workers, who lose a day's pay to get vaccinated—and low-income families. And it would put money in the cash registers of supermarkets and small businesses, many of them suffering.
Labor's plan is a $6 billion shot in the arm for the economy. It's a plan that pays for itself if we avoid just three more weeks of lockdown. But this Prime Minister dismisses it as a 'cash splash'. A Prime Minister who is happy to splash cash on rorts and Liberal mates draws the line at $300 going to my constituents in Bridgewater, Deloraine and Sorrell. A Prime Minister who is happy to give $22 million of taxpayer money to billionaire Gerry Harvey says 'Get stuffed,' to $300 going to the mums and dads of Brighton, Campbell Town and New Norfolk.
Australians deserve a better leader than Scott Morrison, and the choice is easy: Albanese!