Our Health - Our Decisions

1 December, 2023

Hello, Russell Broadbent, Member for Monash

When the pandemic arrived on our shores in early 2020, we didn’t know what to expect. 

But did you know that Australia had recently updated its Pandemic plan in August 2019?

So, in fact, we were well prepared.  This plan was founded on 100 years of pandemic experience and tailored to the Australian context.

But what happened next, was not in that plan. Large-scale lock downs and school closures, mass vaccinations and masking, all these were not in the plan.

Our pandemic plan was effectively tossed in the bin!  

Australia’s response seemed to copy other countries or was based on advice from the World Health Organisation – the WHO.  However, many of the actions taken were not always in the best interests of Australia.

Do you think an international body is best placed to make decisions for Australia? I don’t.

But that’s exactly what’s being proposed as part of 307 International Health Regulation amendments which would see a future health emergency potentially controlled entirely by the WHO.

How is that best for Australia?

Yesterday I wrote to the Minister for Health expressing concern as to whether the amendments have been appropriately scrutinised by the government. 

Since 2012, Australia has allocated over $212 million to the World Health Organisation.  And recently Minister Penny Wong announced the Government would provide a further $100 million over the next five years!

Why are Australian taxpayers funding the World Health Organisation to take control of our emergency health response?  Surely Australia is capable of doing this ourselves?

Our own national interest must guide all future health responses.

And that’s justice, as I see it.

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