Victoria records 149 COVID-19 cases, NSW cases at Travelodge Surry Hills, Broadway Shopping Centre; Sydney’s Wyndham College, Schofields Public School close, Australia death toll at 549

Victoria records 149 COVID-19 cases, NSW cases at Travelodge Surry Hills, Broadway Shopping Centre; Sydney’s Wyndham College, Schofields Public School close, Australia death toll at 549

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Senator Wong said the minister’s performance in Question Time, when he cited figures to back his position that Australia had done well in responding to COVID-19, had left her questioning his abilities.

“I genuinely do not believe this man understands what it is to be a responsible minister in the portfolio. I do not believe he is competent,” she said.

Senator Wong said the minister’s claim that the government could not have planned for the withdrawal of the entire aged care workforce at COVID-19 infected facilities in Melbourne, despite having seen how the virus wiped out the workforce at Newmarch House in Sydney months earlier,
was “extraordinary”.

“We watch him in the Senate, talking about process and webinars and letters,” she said.

“It is clear he has been warned by their own task force, by their own royal commission, and by the events in Australia in the sector itself this year.”

Senator Wong said the aged care system “was already broken before COVID-19” and had worsened.

After Labor attacked the government in Question Time on Wednesday for past budget cuts to the aged care sector, Senator Wong defended the approach, saying: “It is absolutely right that we should be calling this Government to account for what they have failed to do.”

“What we see with this Aged Care Minister, Senator Colbeck, and Prime Minister Morrison, Scott Morrison, are people who have had warning after warning after warning after warning, and they have failed to act,” she said.

“And the consequences of that failure are tragic.”