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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1497 ..


He said:

Well, I think we have to be cautious. We understand it’s a difficult decision. Look, I will leave it to the health experts to respond to these matters. They have recommended a reduction and I think it’s appropriate. But we should continue to monitor the situation.

Correct, Mr Albanese. Mark Butler, the shadow health spokesperson, said:

The scale of the crisis in India is jaw-droppingly bad but we do need to make this period—

without flights—

work, then build something that allows us to bring back the 9,000 people who are wanting to come home, but recognise also that that’s only one small part of the … crisis.

He said that on 1 May, the day when the travel ban came into place—the temporary travel ban. Mr Butler also said:

I suspect the public health advice will be we need further restrictions, maybe a temporary pause altogether in arrivals from India. And if that is the public health advice, my view would be that we have to follow that. That is what we have done over the course of the last 12 or 13 months consistently, and it has served Australia very well.

That was on 27 April.

Mr Hanson: Don’t Labor always say that they listen to the experts?

MRS JONES: That was Mark Butler. That was his statement. Bill Shorten, shadow minister for the NDIS, said:

… it is well past time to shut our borders to flights from India.

He said that on 27 April. He continued:

And one very good humanitarian reason to do it is if we don’t have COVID here, then we can use some of our supplies, which we are not using to fight it here, to help Indians in India … but time to close the borders. They should have been closed days ago.

“They should have been closed days ago,” said Bill Shorten. Richard Marles, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, said—

Ms Orr: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I would note that since Mr Hanson has come into the chamber the tone of the interjections has changed quite significantly. I would ask that we return to hearing Mrs Jones in silence.


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