COVID-19 - Indian Australians

By Matt Keogh MP

12 May 2021

Watch Matt's speech here

The Prime Minister had two jobs this year: the vaccine rollout and national quarantine. He has completely and utterly failed at both, and now the one thing that we thought was certain in this current world of uncertainty—the value of Australian citizenship—has been completely nullified. This government is leaving behind vulnerable Australians who are still stuck overseas. It is completely un-Australian to threaten to jail our fellow citizens who simply want to get home safely.

Australians are stranded in India: that's a fact. An Australian resident lost his life in the COVID riddled country last week. We should be doing everything we can to get Australians home, to get them the help they need. Citizenship comes with rights and responsibilities, but what even is citizenship if you can be jailed just for coming home? The Morrison government's ban on our own citizens must be seen for what it is: an admission of failure. It's a failure to stand up and fulfil the federal government's constitutional responsibility to run a fit-for-purpose quarantine process nationally. Of course the government must act on health advice and, as long as it is fundamentally failing on quarantine and vaccination, health experts have no choice but to provide such harsh guidance.

But, hey, the Prime Minister still thinks that we're at the front of the queue when it comes to vaccination. It is clear that the Morrison government is not on the side of Australians.