COVID-19: Third Melbourne Lockdown

House of Representatives
Thursday 3 June 2021

Hotels were build for tourists, not quarantine. My heart goes out to the people of Melbourne, who now face the economic and social impacts of another week of lockdown.

Responsibility for this lockdown lies squarely at the feet of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. This government has had more than a year to establish a purpose-built quarantine system and has failed to deliver. Queensland has seen outbreaks of COVID-19 from hotel quarantine but, thanks to the leadership of the Palaszczuk government and the hard work of Queenslanders, they've been contained.

But it is an undeniable fact that hotel quarantine is not fit for purpose. We know that more outbreaks are possible and that, as long as Scott Morrison continues to ignore the expert advice, the reality is: this bungled vaccine rollout with messy quarantine is costing our economy. Our economic recovery and the hard work of Australians is being put at risk as long as the Prime Minister refuses to seriously consider the viable alternatives to hotel quarantine.

The Palaszczuk government has put forward a thoughtful and worthy proposal for a dedicated facility to be built on the grounds of Wellcamp Airport on the outskirts of Toowoomba, west of Brisbane. Rather than engaging constructively with this proposal, the Prime Minister saw it as a chance to score political points and undermine the Queensland government. Prime Minister: start listening to premiere Annastacia Palaszczuk and Queenslanders who support a regional quarantine. It's not good enough. Until Scott Morrison decides to do his job and fix quarantine, our economic recovery is at risk.