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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

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PM dodging accountability with new national cabinet secrecy laws

The PM continues to do all he can to duck transparency and accountability with new laws that would overturn a recent court decision by shielding all national cabinet deliberations from public scrutiny.

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:
 
“The Morrison Government is the most secretive government in history. They eagerly relied on cabinet secrecy to hide information about Covid decisions, the ‘gas-led recovery’, the women’s safety taskforce. 

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Speech: Covid-19 in First Nations communities

I couldn't agree more that this is a matter of extreme urgency. It calls on the Morrison-Joyce government to take responsibility for the dangerous situation in western New South Wales. Why was this government sitting on its hands and sitting on data that clearly showed vaccination rates in First Nations communities in western New South Wales were desperately low? Why did you not do something sooner? Because you just don't care.

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Letter: Vaccination targets urgently needed for at-risk communities

Adam Bandt 1 Sep 2021

Dear Prime Minister

I write to request that the forthcoming National Cabinet meeting set additional national vaccination targets for First Nations people, people with disabilities and other at-risk groups as part of the National Plan.

The National Cabinet’s ‘reopening’ strategy envisages the substantial easing of restrictions when 80% vaccination rates are achieved. However, this is currently only 80% of the ‘eligible population’, defined as over 16 year olds, and it seems to permit easing of restrictions even if at-risk groups remain largely unvaccinated.

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First Nations vaccine rollout reveals usual lack of care and incompetence

The Greens say that the Government's approach to vaccinating First Nations people, disabled people and aged care residents, has been unacceptable and once again led to a tragic death that could have been prevented if adequate planning and support for experts was given when it was asked for.

Communities should not have to be begging for support, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Won’t someone please think of the children - Kids must be in vax targets now 

Rachel Siewert 26 Aug 2021

The Greens say that Mr Morrison’s failure to include children in the national vaccination targets will cost too many lives. 
 
“Mr Morrison has finally succumbed to public pressure and is now saying National Cabinet will talk about how to vaccinate children and teenagers (12-15 years old) tomorrow, but we urgently need to have targets for children”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Speech: Stop blaming Covid numbers on people of colour

It is difficult to see the rising COVID numbers in New South Wales, and it is also heartbreaking to watch the New South Wales Liberal government shaming people in certain communities in their theatre of compliance because they have failed to control the spread of COVID and, ultimately, because Scott Morrison has failed to roll out a vaccination program early enough. It is having a huge impact. The multicultural communities being overpoliced and singled out by the New South Wales government are also now carrying a disproportionate burden from this outbreak.

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First Nations People Need to Lead COVID-19 Response in Western NSW

First Nations people have been a priority group for the COVID-19 vaccine since December 2020, yet our vaccination rates in Western NSW are among the lowest in the country,” said DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe, the Greens Senator for Victoria.

When COVID-19 hit, governments around the country sent our communities body bags, not the PPE we asked for. I’m hearing reports of healthy people being forced to stay in overcrowded homes with people who have COVID-19. They need to stop blocking us from being healthy.

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Letter: Include children and all teenagers in the national vaccination targets

Adam Bandt 23 Aug 2021

Dear Prime Minister 

I write to request that the forthcoming National Cabinet meeting consider the inclusion of children and all teenagers in the national vaccination targets.

The National Cabinet’s ‘reopening’ strategy envisages the substantial easing of restrictions when 80% vaccination rates are achieved. However, this is currently only 80% of the ‘eligible population’, defined as over 16-year olds, not 80% of the whole population, as recommended by the Grattan Institute.

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Greens slam Morrison’s fudging of vaccination numbers

Adam Bandt 20 Aug 2021

Greens leader Adam Bandt said Scott Morrison’s announcement today that children would not be included in vaccination targets was a political decision that made the community less safe.

Scott Morrison’s 80% vaccination target is only 65% of the whole population, as it excludes under 16s. An additional 4 million people need to be vaccinated to reach the 80% target if all children and teenagers were included. The Grattan Institute has warned that opening up at such a low level of vaccination could lead to thousands of deaths.

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Blaming individuals is not a Covid strategy

Mehreen Faruqi 18 Aug 2021

Statement from Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, following today’s announcement of 633 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in NSW:

“Today’s COVID-19 numbers are just devastating.

“But simply telling people to ‘stay home’ is not going to cut it when people aren’t getting the financial support they need to do so. The vast majority of people are doing the right thing, and have been for weeks. Blame-shifting onto individuals is very unhelpful.

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