SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
TUESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Morrison Government held hostage by rogue MPs and Senators; vaccine mandates; Star Wars.
PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Let’s head back to Canberra now and joining us live is Jason Clare. Jason, good to see you. Just want to start off with your thoughts on the rebellion and I’m not talking Star Wars here.
JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: Why can’t we talk about Star Wars, people would be a lot more interested in Star Wars wouldn’t they, than the chaos that we’re seeing here in Canberra. This mob has been in power now for almost a decade. We’ve got an election in a couple of months, and they’re going to ask for another three years in power. To be frank, they don’t deserve it. What we’re seeing here in Canberra is a government that’s falling apart. Nothing’s happening. Nothing’s happening here. No legislation is being passed. All there is is chaos. The Government’s effectively being held hostage by a group of people who think that if you get vaccinated, your 5G reception will improve. For most Aussies out there that have been vaccinated, and that’s 91 per cent of Aussies have had one jab, they did that because they thought it would protect their health and their family’s health, they did that because they wanted their life back. They must be looking at what’s happening here in Canberra and thinking, what are we wasting our time talking about here at the moment? And why is the Prime Minister sucking up to all of these people instead of doing his job?
STEFANOVIC: Just to be clear, though, do you believe that the state mandates when it comes to vaccination should proceed?
CLARE: Mate, we’re both from Sydney. Have a look at the rules that have been put in place in New South Wales. Dom Perrottet is not a big government kind of guy, right. The rules that have been put in place that say that you can only go to the pub at the moment if you’ve been vaccinated, you can only go to the movies at the moment if you’ve been vaccinated, you can only sit down at the coffee shop at the moment if you’ve been vaccinated, they are all the sorts of things that have helped us to get that vaccination rate up to almost 95 per cent double dose in New South Wales. It’s helped to keep us all safe. And it’s helped us, to use the Prime Minister’s words, helped us to open and then to stay open. These are the sorts of things that you do if you want to keep Australians safe and keep the economy open again. The fact that the Prime Minister is pandering to these people who’ve got a different idea shows it’s not about health, it’s about politics. Let’s be let’s be brutally honest about what this is about. This is about pandering to Hanson and Palmer to get their preference votes at the next election, and he’ll probably get them. The Liberal Party always get them. But it’s about sucking up to them rather than doing what’s right and showing a bit of leadership and representing the rest of the country. The 90 odd percent of Aussies who’ve done the right thing who’ve got vaccinated and just want their life back.
STEFANOVIC: So that’s the point, there, that a lot of people are making, is that because vaccination levels are so high, amongst the highest in the world, is there actually a need for the mandates to continue?
CLARE: Each State has set it at a slightly different level, right? What we don’t want is what’s happened in Austria, where you get to a certain point, then it stops and then you end up with another lockdown next winter. The higher those vaccination rates get, the more likely we are to be able to open up and stay open. I haven’t criticised on your show the New South Wales Government or the Queensland Government or the Victorian Government for setting different levels of that. The higher we go, the better, and the fact that the New South Wales Government has set that at that 95 per cent level means that when my older parents go out on the street or go to the shops, they feel safe. They know that the chances are getting COVID is much less in Western Sydney today than it was back in July and August and September, when we didn’t have the vaccine because Morrison didn’t buy enough vaccines, and they were worried about their health just leaving their home. That’s changed in Sydney now because finally we’ve got the vaccine. Most Aussies were waiting desperately for the vaccine and now they’ve got it, to be honest, they’re looking at us in Canberra, they’re looking at this government falling apart debating vaccine mandates and wondering what are we wasting our time talking about.
STEFANOVIC: It’s your view that, what I’m picking up here is that your belief is that the vaccine mandate should continue for as long as this pandemic is in place, because I think it’s probably going to be likely that we have to get this shot every year.
CLARE: We’re probably going to need a booster next year. I don’t know if it’s clear that it’s going to be years after that. What I’m saying is States have set different levels where the mandates stop. In New South Wales, it’s 95 per cent and then if you’re not vaccinated, you’ll still be able to go into the pub and so forth. But let’s be pretty clear, there’s vaccine mandates at a federal level as well. Aussies can now go overseas, but if you want to come back into the country and not go into two weeks of quarantine, then you’ve got to be vaccinated as well. So, there are rules that have been put in place by the Federal Government. There are rules that have been put in place by State Governments. They’re all designed to keep us safe, and to help us to be open and to open our country back up again and get the life back that we’ve lost over the last two years.
STEFANOVIC: Jason Clare, it was good to slip some Star Wars in there. Good to chat. As always, we’ll talk to you soon.
CLARE: May the force be with you, mate.
STEFANOVIC: And same with you.