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Queensland pays the price for Morrison’s flawed vaccine rollout

The Greens have laid the blame for Brisbane’s three-day COVID lockdown at the Morrison government’s door, saying its failure to ensure all frontline healthcare workers are vaccinated has triggered a necessary public health response that will damage already struggling businesses and force more workers into unemployment.

The more than 130,000 people currently receiving JobSeeker in Brisbane will have their safety net slashed to below the poverty line on Thursday after the Coalition and Labor refused to support the Greens’ proposal for an $80 a day payment.

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Speech: COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 has exposed many structural inequities in Australia and internationally, from economic insecurity to wildly unequal access to health services. In 2021, the global vaccine rollout has come sharply into focus. Australia has the means to acquire and distribute a life-saving vaccine amongst our population. Make no mistake: this is a privilege. But what we are seeing on an international level is rich nations making strides towards full immunity while poorer nations are left behind. Australia is complicit in this.

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Senate supports Greens motion calling for a National Strategy on Climate Change, Health and Well-being

The Senate has today recognised that the climate crisis is the greatest threat to our health this century. 
 
“The fact is, the climate crisis is a health emergency”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“The Government acted on the science when it came to the COVID crisis and yet for decades they have refused to act on the science when it comes to the climate crisis. 
 

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Australia Must Support Equal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines

The Greens have said that Australia must support a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal that would waive intellectual property provisions to allow Covid-19 vaccine production to be rolled out and made accessible and affordable to everyone in the global community.

The WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council is meeting this week, with the Covid-19 vaccine on the agenda.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid & Development, said:

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Greens renew call for Drug Law Reform

Rachel Siewert 4 Mar 2021

The Australian Laywer’s Alliance "Doing More Harm Than Good: The need for a health-focused approach to drug use" report clearly shows that a national approach to harm minimisation is long overdue.  
 
"The legal and medical sectors have been saying for decades that treating drug use as a criminal matter, rather than a health issue does not work", Australian Greens Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 
 

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We need a new approach to quarantine

Rachel Siewert 17 Feb 2021

The Greens say quarantine facilities need to be established out of cities and that facilities must be publicly funded and run. 

“Our hotel quarantine system needs to be watertight. The UK, South Africa, Brazil variants are becoming the dominant variants in other parts of the world and we must keep these from getting out into our community”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said

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Greens welcome AstraZeneca approval but say further diversity is needed. 

Rachel Siewert 16 Feb 2021

The Greens welcome the news that AstraZeneca has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia.
 
“However we cannot put all our eggs in one basket. It’s clear with differing rates of efficacy and with new Covid-19 strains developing that we must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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South Africa's AstraZeneca suspension underlines urgency of local vaccine manufacture

The Greens say the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in South Africa shows the need for the government to establish a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia.

Australia needs to be nimble and able to quickly adapt vaccines to ever-mutating strains of COVID, which would only be possible with a local, publicly owned facility that puts health, not profits, first.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:

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Greens call for Government to diversify vaccines contracts and strategise for herd immunity 

Rachel Siewert 4 Feb 2021

The Greens say that the Government must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio immediately in light of the varying rates of effectiveness of vaccines against new strains. 
 
“We cannot rely on AstraZeneca as our only contingency plan - we need to have a diverse portfolio to rapidly pivot to deal with new strains, including securing deals with Moderna and more Pfizer doses", Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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