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29 July 2021

Independent Senator Rex Patrick today called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release the Doherty Institute’s modelling on the effectiveness of vaccination levels which will inform Federal and State governments on their future pandemic strategy, including lockdowns and economic reopening.

“The modelling provided by the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity to the Australian Government this week should be released in full without delay,” Senator Patrick said. 

“This modelling has been paid for by taxpayers and will presumably be a key input into government decisions that will directly affect the lives of all Australians. It should be made publicly available and subject to independent scrutiny and debate.” 

“Throughout COVID-19 the Morrison Government has claimed to follow the advice of medical experts, but they have repeatedly sought to keep much of that advice secret, including through unprecedented extensions of Cabinet secrecy.” 

“Through the creation of the Prime Minister’s so-called ‘National Cabinet’, Mr Morrison has sought to extend absolute secrecy over intergovernmental deliberations and the advice given to them by medical professionals including the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and consultants such as the Doherty Institute.”

“While this may have suited the Prime Minister’s political interests, the lack of transparency and subsequent loss of scrutiny and contestability has led to failed strategies, including the Government’s quarantine failure and vaccine roll-out shambles. These past failures have cost Australian families their loved ones and adversely affected the economy.”

“The need for full transparency in regard to the latest Doherty Institute modelling is reinforced by media reports that the Institute’s advice is to be merged with Treasury economic modelling before submission to National Cabinet, and that members of the Institute have been banned from talking about the modelling publicly owing to the political sensitivity of the issue." 

“Political sensitivity is no basis for withholding critical information from the public. There is no justification for withholding the Doherty Institute’s modelling in advance of government decisions on future pandemic strategy. On the contrary, free and rigorous public discussion, including the views of other independent experts is highly desirable, indeed essential to getting the best outcomes and improving public confidence in the decision made."  

"The Australian people should not be presented with another fait accompli, decided in secret on the basis of secret advice. The Institute’s vaccination modelling should be released before any further National Cabinet decisions.”