27 May 2021
The anxiety that is sweeping through Melbourne, being watched by horrified Queenslanders and those in other states, could have been avoided with a competent vaccine rollout and a purpose-built quarantine facility. Yet, yesterday, the PM called the opposition and those others who critiqued the rollout of the vaccine 'whingers'—a rollout that could, at best, be described as 'troubled', which is now millions of jabs behind schedule.
The quarantine program is squarely within the Prime Minister's responsibilities under the Constitution. I cannot think of a rationale for not trying to improve quarantine. If it's responsibility, well, you've had 120 years to get across the Constitution and your responsibilities underneath it. If it's the money, well, how much money is it going to cost to shut down Melbourne for a week? Over a billion dollars, the retailers' association is saying. If it's a total and utter lack of a plan or vision for the country, well, I guess it's too late now! But we can still rely upon the premiers, who did all the hard work of keeping us safe, for those solutions.
The PM rejected Queensland's proposal for Wellcamp, saying, 'We can't have these things out in the desert.' Do you know the name we have for Toowoomba? As a proud Queenslander, Deputy Speaker Llew O'Brien, you would know. It's 'the garden city'. It has a carnival of flowers, Deputy Speaker. So you, as a proud Queenslander, will agree with me: we will never be lectured to by a New South Wales Prime Minister about whingeing.