The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. Angus Taylor MP
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
30 January 2022
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has revealed he is making it up, with no plan for managing the pandemic.
He is a weak leader who doesn’t know what he stands for.
Today he has again backflipped, abandoning his Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for all promise.
On the ABC’s Insiders program, Albanese admitted he would limit access to RATs. “It would be available on the basis of need,” he said. “…not unlimited. You would have limits based upon the health advice.”
Over nine million RATs have been delivered through the National Medical Stockpile including more than 7.6 million to aged care.
As we pointed out, Albanese’s first policy of universal uncapped free RATS for all would have destroyed the supply chain. It would have diverted tests from the ill, aged care, hospitals, people with a disability and Indigenous Australians. It was hopelessly flawed, unrealistic and un-costed.
Under the slightest pressure to explain what he intended, Mr Albanese’s vague, sound-good pledge has collapsed to simply endorsing the Government’s program which in the first five days has delivered two million RATs, through 2600 pharmacies and to 467,000 concession card holders.
Earlier in the pandemic, Mr Albanese also made an utterly irresponsible pledge to pay people $300 to be vaccinated that would cost $6 billion. At over 95.5% vaccination and one of the highest rates in the world for over 16’s, over 12’s and already for over 5’s, it’s absolutely clear that the Opposition Leader has no idea how to govern let alone manage the pandemic.
Ultimately, despite the Opposition’s irresponsible approach to the pandemic, the Government has helped deliver one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, one of the lowest death rates and one of the strongest economic recoveries.
And it is extremely concerning that Mr Albanese proposes to supply tests that have no regulatory approval for use in Australia.
We will back the health advisers that have guided our plans. Albanese just wants to make it up.
The Morrison Government invested in, and made significant purchases from Australian manufactures of medical technologies and biopharmaceuticals since the start of the pandemic, including masks from Med Con in Shepparton Victoria, ventilators by Res Med and RATs by Innovation Scientific.
We also identified Medical Products as one of our six National Manufacturing Priorities under the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
Australia has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world due to the investment in the local production of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine by CSL in Melbourne, which protected Australians through the delta wave.
We have secured the agreement with Moderna to establish manufacturing in Australia. The sovereign onshore facility will be built in Victoria, secured as part of a long-term strategic partnership, to increase preparedness for possible future pandemics, including priority access to vaccines, research and development, clinical trials and global supply chain access.
With today’s announcement, Labor’s magic pudding National Reconstruction Fund now has 32 top priorities. Yet the only confirmed funding from this fund to date is a $6 million grant to the CFMMEU.
This is just the latest empty promise from an Opposition Leader who promises the world and has no plan to deliver it.
At a time when Australia needs certainty, Albanese would be a risk to our economy and security.
After spending his entire adult life in politics, Albanese has never held a financial portfolio.
He’s never held a national security portfolio. He’s never delivered a budget.
Albanese has supported higher taxes on retirees, housing, and incomes.
He has failed to rule out higher taxes on Australian family businesses.
Albanese and Labor have no plan for our economy and no plan to keep Australians safe.