Transcript - Mix 104.9 FM - Pauline Hanson's Bill for Unvaccinated Australians

22 November 2021

DARWIN - 22 November 2021

KATIE WOOLF, HOST: Joining me on the line is Labor's Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling. Good morning to you, Luke.




WOOLF: Luke, it's set to be an interesting day, I would suspect. We asked the federal Health Minister about this a short time ago. We know the Northern Territory's obviously moved to a No Vax No Travel into the Northern Territory policy. The Prime Minister has previously said people shouldn't be discriminated against based on their vaccination status, and we know that Pauline Hanson is claiming that she's going to “cause havoc” unless Scott Morrison backs her legislation, making it unlawful to discriminate against unvaccinated Aussies. The Health Minister said no, that they would not be supporting this legislation. But Luke, what's it going to mean for these last weeks of Parliament?


GOSLING: You’ve hit the nail on the head, Katie, obviously as an election gets closer the Government is seeking to make friends with Pauline Hanson. But what they should be doing is making sure that, for example, that we had the debate today that's now been thrown off the agenda into whether the Territory, or the two territories, should have the same rights as everyone else in the country. But as far as those other matters, I spoke with Greg Hunt on the way down – the federal Health Minister on the way down here – and obviously said we needed to do more when it comes to giving people in their communities the opportunity to get vaccinated, to protect themselves and their families. But also we needed better communications out there in the communities because there has been a lot of misinformation, and we need to give people as much information as possible on which to base their decision about whether they get a vaccine or not. And just quickly I’ll cover off on the Prime Minister's words because he's speaking on both sides of his mouth at the moment, in that he brought in No Jab No Pay, which basically meant that there was no child care subsidy if your kid was going to go to child care but didn't have the required vaccines. He brought that in, and he explained the reasons why that was necessary. But to chase some votes by basically trying to say that now he isn't in favour of taking necessary precautions to protect people in the community just shows a distinct lack of leadership on his part.


WOOLF: So what do you reckon needs to happen here, Luke?


GOSLING: What needs to happen is the territories and the states need to be backed by the Federal Government in what they're trying to achieve to keep people safe. No one's being forced to take the vaccine. But what needs to happen in terms of the territories and their rights is that we should be able to make our own laws the same as everyone else. But what's happened is they haven’t backed Sam McMahon's bill on territory rights, and that is a crying shame, because they just clearly have no intention of giving us the same rights as people in the states. I've got a petition here from COTA NT, the Council of the Ageing NT, that has been signed by thousands of Territorians who say, “look, this is about us not being second-class citizens and having the same rights as everyone else”. So let's leave it up to Territorians, whether we want to legislate around voluntary euthanasia, as one example, but give us the same rights as other Australian citizens to make our own laws. But the Morrison Government has said no.


WOOLF: Obviously we know Sam McMahon had been pushing for this bill to happen, or for it to be brought forward. Does this mean now because of the One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson – well, hijacking, I guess some would say, legislation priorities, that it's not going to happen now before Christmas. And then when could it really happen?


GOSLING: Sam McMahon confirmed to me last night when we flew down from Darwin that it wouldn't be happening this year. That's the reality of it, but what she probably can't say but what is the truth is that the current Morrison Government does not want a debate or any legislation change that removes the Andrews bill. Because whilst the Andrews bill is there, they have – the current Morrison Government, they have the power to make laws over the Territory and to stop us from making laws for ourselves. And that's wrong. And they should as a priority then in the new year allow that debate to occur about Territorians and their rights, because we do deserve the same rights as everyone else in this country.


WOOLF: Well, Luke Gosling, I know it's always an interesting time when parliament sits federally. It is going to be interesting today, I reckon, given what Senator Pauline Hanson's obviously putting forward, and to see who crosses the floor or what happens. Keep us up to date and let us know what goes on.


GOSLING: I’ll do my best. Thanks Katie.


WOOLF: Thanks, Luke. That is Luke Gosling, the Labor Member for Solomon.