SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER HOME AFFAIRS, IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
It’s time for the Morrison Government to do its job, listen to the experts and deliver on federal Quarantine – to keep Australians safe and to help the 38,000 Australians stranded overseas get home.
The AMA has today called on the Government to establish dedicated quarantine facilities similar to the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs camp.
The Government’s own hand-picked advisor Jane Halton has briefed Scott Morrison three times on the need for a national border control quarantine system to keep Australians safe from COVID-19.
Ms Halton has told Scott Morrison;
- the Federal Government can run quarantine under Federal legislation,
- how the Federal Government can run quarantine safely – including imposing exclusion zones around quarantine facilities; and
- the Federal Government should open up further quarantine centres like at RAAF Learmonth.
But a year into this pandemic, Scott Morrison still has no plan for safe national quarantine.
As a consequence, 38,000 Australians remain stranded and businesses have no certainty over our borders – which will cost jobs.
“The experts are telling us what needs to be done – so when will Scott Morrison stop passing the buck to the states, and step up and deliver on what is a core federal responsibility?” said Senator Penny Wong, Labor’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
“We have tens of thousands of Australians stranded around the world, some who have been stuck since the start of this pandemic, and some in increasingly desperate situations - the only roadblock to getting them home is Scott Morrison’s refusal to act.”
“Scott Morrison is standing on the sidelines leaving it to the states to protect Australia from the more dangerous strains that are emerging, including B117,” the Shadow Minister for Health, Chris Bowen said.
“An Australian passport used to mean something. Australians, whether they are at home or overseas, deserve the support and the protection of their government – instead stranded Australians are being left behind,” said Mr Bowen.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.