Hello. I’m Russell Broadbent, Member for Monash.
I’d like to read you a letter I’ve written to the Senate Committee that’s been tasked with considering the Terms of Reference for a Covid Inquiry.
I’ve copied my letter to the Minister for Health and to the Prime Minister:
The letter reads:
In April 2022 the Senate Select Committee on Covid-19 issued its final report consisting of 19 recommendations including: ‘a recommendation that a Royal Commission be established to examine Australia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Despite this clear recommendation, the Government has failed to act.
Instead, the proposed Commonwealth Government Covid-19 Response Inquiry is significantly restricted in terms of scope, and completely eliminates actions taken by state and territory governments.
This means some of the most damaging and restrictive actions taken in response to the pandemic - like lockdowns, border closures and mandates – will not be examined.
The Australian people have paid dearly for the pandemic though restrictions to freedoms, separation from loved ones, threats to livelihood and employment, financial burdens, and health consequences. These costs came directly from government policy decisions.
Australians deserve answers to the most fundamental question about our pandemic response: Was the cost worth it?
This question can only begin to be answered through the mechanism of a Royal Commission with the correct Terms of Reference.
Australians have answered the call and this 107-page document contains a comprehensive list of Terms of Reference for a Covid-19 Royal Commission.
It has been created by academics and intellectuals – experts in their field – and represents a collaboration of over 15 organisations.
This document has been counter-signed by close to 50,000 Australians. It is the Royal Commission that Australians want and deserve.
I fully support this document and commend it to the Committee.
And that’s just as I see it.