PETA MURPHY MP
MEMBER FOR DUNKLEY
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2021
SUBJECTS: Sacrifices of the Australian public; compromised vaccine messaging; Craig Kelly and Pete Evans; Prime Minister’s lack of leadership.
PETA MURPHY, MEMBER FOR DUNKLEY: Good morning everyone.
I’m here today to talk on behalf of the millions and millions of Australians who last year and now this year – particularly in WA and NSW – have sacrificed in order to help to supress the virus. We have had people from the Prime Minister, to the Premiers, to all the Chief Medical Officers saying to Australians, ‘follow the medical advice, we are listening to the scientists, follow the medical advice’. And that’s what we did.
In my home state of Victoria and in my electorate of Dunkley, people stayed home for weeks and weeks and weeks on end, only going outside for one hour a day for exercise. They missed birthdays and funerals and weddings, they couldn’t see their grandparents and loved ones in nursing homes, in order to suppress the virus. And now, today, we have a situation where we have a Prime Minister who urged all those people to do that and they listened, who now will not shut down Craig Kelly and other MPs who want to spread conspiracy theories about COVID not existing, about medicines that aren’t approved to be taken, and, particularly insidiously, about the vaccine. It is beyond belief that we could have a government that would spend some $28 million or so on an advertising campaign to tell Australians to ‘have confidence in the vaccine, take the vaccine, we need people to take the vaccine for our public health, and for our economy to recover’ – and yet free rein is given to members of the government to give the opposite message.
Is it any wonder that Craig Kelly went on Pete Evans’ podcast? Is it any wonder that he is on TV news shows promoting himself and spouting these conspiracy theories? Saying things on his Facebook page like Chief Medical Officers are akin to war criminals, when the Prime Minister won’t show leadership? Now, I saw some reports last night that perhaps the Prime Minister called Craig Kelly before Question Time to say ‘hey mate, tone it down a bit, I’m going to get asked about this in question time’. If that is right, and if the only motivation of the Prime Minister to finally talk to his government member about the dangerous things he is saying is that the Prime Minister doesn’t want to be put under political pressure in Question Time, that says it all doesn’t it really about this Prime Minister?
It is beyond time, on behalf of everyone who has worked so hard and has sacrificed so much that the Prime Minister comes out publicly – publicly – and says ‘this has to stop’. Because it is one thing to say, ‘oh don’t take your medical advice from Facebook’. That shows either a complete ignorance or a wilful disregard for how important social media has become, particularly over the pandemic, where people couldn’t get out and talk to other. We have a Prime Minister who does Facebook Live and gives information to the public and wants people to listen to him, and then says, ‘well don’t listen to what members of my government say on Facebook’ and ‘look, they might spread conspiracy theories that are dangerous and bad for public health, and lead to people having less faith in government and politicians – but gee, they are a good member for their electorate’. You can not be a good member for Hughes and be telling your constituents that it is not really clear that they should take the vaccine that the TGA has approved and that the Prime Minister and health officials say we need to take for everyone’s sake.
So, that is what I say to the Prime Minister today, and the Minister for Health – come out publicly, stop being mealy -mouthed and disavow what is going on and tell him and others they have to stop.
MEDIA CONTACT: DYLAN STEED 0400 615 862
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.