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SENATOR PATRICK CALLS ON LABOR TO JOIN PUSH FOR COVID-19 ROYAL COMMISSION

6 January 2022

Independent Senator Rex Patrick has renewed his call for the establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate and report on the Australian Government’s COVID-19 pandemic response. 

“A Royal Commission inquiry is essential to establish precisely why Australia is in the position we find ourselves in and to learn all the lessons we can from the Australia’s COVID-19 response,” Senator Patrick said.  

“I first called for the establishment of a Royal Commission six months ago. The need for a comprehensive national investigation is now greater than ever.” 

“I urge Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to join with the individual Labor MPs that have already expressed support for a Royal Commission inquiry. Full Opposition support is essential to put more pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to accept a proper measure of accountability.” 

“Two years on from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia is paying a heavy price for successive public policy failures, on international quarantine, on the procurement and distribution of vaccines, safely managing the transition to an open economy and society, and now the operation of our COVID testing system, especially access to rapid antigen tests.”

“Only an independent, non-partisan and fully-empowered inquiry can cut through government spin and secrecy to get at the truth.”

“A Royal Commission should have full access not only the records of the so-called ‘National Cabinet’, but also to all other government records subject to Cabinet, commercial-in-confidence and even national security secrecy claims.” 

“Only a Royal Commission can extract the truth from reluctant ministers and bureaucrats.” 

“It would be able to put key people in the witness box: Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt, other key Ministers and senior bureaucrats such as Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy.”

“Only a Royal Commission can deliver authoritative findings to serve as a guide for future policy.”

“Some Labor MPs including Julian Hill, Anika Wells, Patrick Gorman and Anne Aly have expressed support for establishment of a Royal Commission.” 

“The Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese needs to get off the fence and declare his position.” 

“Independent MPs, the Opposition, the Greens all need to press for a Royal Commission of inquiry, ideally to commence before the federal election.” 

”Governments must deal with the immediate challenges of the pandemic, but that can’t delay a proper process of scrutiny and accountability.” 

“A Royal Commission is an essential part of our nation’s COVID-19 response.”