The coronavirus was brought into Australia by travellers from other countries, yet for weeks they were simply allowed to get off planes and ships without any government screening, at most being told to self-isolate for fourteen days. The onus was put on the individual traveller. This did not work. The government’s inaction led to the virus spreading throughout the country and people dying.
Why were travellers from Europe and the US (who have contributed to seventy-five per cent of our imported cases) not quarantined much earlier on, given the early signs of cases being imported from the US, including prominent Hollywood actors and Peter Dutton? The government was complicit in further endangering peoples’ lives by its complete mishandling of the docking of the Ruby Princess cruise ship at Sydney.
Where has our government been in the need to protect frontline health workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and resources, including ICU beds and ventilators, now with the looming health crisis? It has many questions to answer.
Where are the billions of dollars, they’ve taken out of Medicare every year; are they coming back? Why are thirty per cent of ICU beds and ventilators now transferred to the private hospitals?
Where are our scientists including the CSIRO scientists that were forced out due to government cuts? Why has science and disaster readiness been such a low priority over the years?
Where was our government when our children and teachers were left at school without screening or temperature checks, and even without adequate sanitation facilities like soap and sanitisers? Where is the government’s temperature screening and sanitising teams in the community – at schools or factories, in the mines or offices?
How can the government shut down Parliament for six months to protect themselves and avoid public scrutiny – but mine workers must continue to FIFO to keep the mineral bosses happy?
Under what law can the government shut down Parliament for six months and hand over decision-making to a group of business magnates? The government has no concern for the people, and every concern for the financial and corporate world.
The CPA reiterates our more comprehensive list of demands in our statement of the 16th March 2020, and calls for a stop to all profiteering from the people’s suffering during the emergency. The bankrolling of the private sector and the multinationals must stop. Instead, guarantee the essential areas of the economy by nationalising the health system, the banks, Qantas, the supermarkets, and other essential services like aged care and early childhood education.
COVID-19 represents the biggest threat to Australian security in living memory. To properly defend ourselves, we need the full resources of the military defence budget to be used to defend the people against the virus.
We must turn the submarines into ventilators, into hospital beds and into personal protective equipment for our frontline workers.
We must turn the strike fighter jets into building surge capacity in our hospitals for the looming crisis in the health system.
Now is the time to use our taxes more wisely. It is not the time to spend them on military “toys for the boys.” Taxpayers’ money is needed to feed and house the people, and to ensure that they get the healthcare they need, when they need it.
Our government has failed us. They did it during the firestorms that raged across Australia. They are doing it now with COVID-19, but this time we will not accept a government that leaves us alone “with buckets and hoses”.
We need a people’s government.
Communist Party of Australia, CPA