Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE to the Grapevine News Online and to the monthly e-book edition of the Grapevine Community News. You will receive an email notification every time a news story goes live, keeping you up to date with what is happening in your community.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Subscription received.

Our online news update and monthly newspaper is about real local news and events. We will not spam you or share your details with third parties.

 

LOCAL NEWS & VIEWS

Who’s to blame for the vaccine rollout fail? First prize goes to Scomo!

Where does Gladys Berejiklian feature

in the Covid debacle?

Australians can now easily see how Scott Morrison has failed the vaccine rollout and why we are all paying the price for his failures. And as the COVID Delta variant spreads like wildfire through Sydney, Gladys Berejiklian needs to come clean on how politics has governed her Government’s decisions.

26 July 2021

ALAN HAYES

 

DOWN the road in Canberra Scott Morrison had two vital jobs this year - roll out Covid vaccine and set up safe national quarantine. Not only has Mr Morrison failed on both counts, he has shovelled a whole lot of BS out the door as he's covered up his mistakes.

 

Pfizer has contradicted media reports that Scott Morrison had struck a new deal to bring additional Pfizer into Australia. In contrast, Pfizer has said, "The total number of 40 million doses we are contracted to deliver to Australia over 2021 has not changed. We continue to work closely with the Government to support their rollout program."

 

The fact remains that less than fourteen per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated.

 

Yesterday, on nation television, Scott Morrison again announced that an additional 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been secured for Australia. The only problem is that these additional doses will not be delivered until 2022 and are earmarked as booster shots. Cold comfort for Australians begging to be vaccinated now.

 

Scott Morrison is all about the announcement and photo-op but fails to carry through in a timely manner to ensure that all Australian’s are vaccinated. It is no surprise, given Mr Morrison’s appalling track record.

 

  • Morrison promise 1: 4 million Australians would be vaccinated by end of March. But, by the end of March, there were only 600,000 doses administered - some 15% of Mr Morrison's target.

 

  • Morrison promise 2: 6 million vaccine doses for Australians by 10th of May. But, as of the 10th of May only two and a half million vaccination doses have been administered. Nowhere near 6 million and nowhere near getting Australians fully vaccinated.

 

  • Morrison promise 3: Australia was at the "front of the queue" for vaccine deals. Back in November, Scott Morrison told the nation he had a strategy to put Australians at the "front of the queue" for vaccine deals. Yet Australia is ranked 113th in the world by the number of vaccine doses administered per head of population. We were dead last amongst OECD countries, but are now above New Zealand.

 

Countries like the US, the United Kingdom and Japan were making Pfizer deals back in July 2020, but, Australia didn't secure a Pfizer deal until the end of 2020, putting us at the back of the queue.

 

Australians know that this "front of the queue" claim for Mr Morrison is just more of his lies. Scott Morrison’s  relationship with the truth has gotten beyond a joke.

 

In a health crisis, Australians deserve so much better from a Prime Minister.

 

When it comes to the vaccine rollout, Scott Morrison hasn’t taken his responsibility seriously, he hasn’t done his job, and he hasn’t fixed the problems.

 

Scott Morrison's only answer has been to dish out more and more lies. A fact that didn’t go unnoticed by Channel Seven on its exposure of what has gone wrong with the Covid vaccine rollout, screened at 8.30pm on Sunday 18 July. Ex-Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, who appeared on the program, was critical of Scott Morrison’s continual failure to secure vaccines.

 

Yet, really, what has the Morrison Government done? Run a series of television advertisements, telling people to get vaccinated with vaccines that don’t exist. Abolished JobKeeper and reduced payments to help keep businesses afloat, which is clearly not working; more and more small businesses continue to collapse leaving in their wake unprecedented financial hardship from the roll-on effect.

 

So, Mr Morrison hasn’t really done much lot at all, except fail at least ten targets during his vaccine rollout:

 

  • 28 February: On 7 Jan, Scott Morrison set a weekly target to deliver 80,000 doses by February. However, in the entire month of February, only 31,894 vaccine doses were administered.

 

  • 28 February: On 15 Feb, Scott Morrison set a new target for February (dropping his 80,000 dose per week target). Instead, he promised 60,000 doses. However, there were only 31,894 vaccine doses administered in Australia.

 

  • 31 March: Scott Morrison failed his target of 4 million vaccinations by the end of March. Instead, there were only 600,000 vaccine doses administered by the end of March.

 

  • 10 April: Scott Morrison failed his target to have aged care residents and workers, and disability care residents and workers fully vaccinated by Easter.

 

  • 10 April: Scott Morrison breaks his target to have all Australians fully vaccinated by October saying, “The Government has also not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses. While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.”

 

  • 7 May: Scott Morrison breaks his promise to keep National Cabinet on a ‘war footing’ until the vaccine rollout is back on track.

 

  • 10 May: Scott Morrison failed his target of 6 million vaccinations by the 10th of May.

 

  • 31 May: Scott Morrison fails his target to have 13 pop-up vaccine clinics for aged care workers operational nationwide by the end of May – still only three are opened in Sydney.

 

  • 26 June: Only one-third of aged care workers had received a single dose of the vaccine, despite the target that all aged care workers would be fully vaccinated by Easter.

 

  • 13 July: Five months into the rollout and only 40 per cent of aged care workers have received their first vaccines. Aged care workers were supposed to be fully vaccinated by Easter.

 

From the very beginning Scott Morrison failed the vaccine rollout. Scott Morrison ignored advice to secure more vaccine deals, and he didn’t purchase enough vaccine supply and he didn’t think the rollout was a race.

The rollout was a race and now with millions of people in lockdown, millions of workers going without wages and businesses crippled and NSW sinking in its attempt to stop the spread of the COVID Delta strain, the best Scott Morrison can do is tell people to get vaccinated with vaccines that aren’t available.

Scott Morrison has monumentally failed Australians.

And how does the Berejiklian Government feature?

 

When COVID first invaded our shores, our governments were complacent – the NSW Government ignored the enormity of what could happen and we ended up with the Ruby Princess debacle. The political blame game, which only because of the self-serving survival of our politicians, is no longer played, but politics continues to sway the decisions made.

 

Why didn’t Gladys Berejiklian adopt a hard line approach after the Ruby Princess? She, along with the Federal Government, were pining for the good old days to bring life back to the way it was without the realisation that political complacency would lead to disaster.

 

The Government’s ineptitude enabled the Delta variant to get a foothold in Australia. Yet the burning question has never been fully answered, why weren’t those individuals conveying international flight crews mandated to wear a face mask? Why were the flight crews coming into Australia not required to wear a face mask whilst being transported to quarantine facilities?

 

The Minister for Health Brad Hazzard mumbled an excuse at a press conference and the Premier avoided the truth and instead allowed politics to determine her decision – not to enforce a hard lockdown, which may well have avoided the current situation. A situation that has left the State Government drowning in its own ineptness. A situation that could have been avoided if the vaccine rollout had been recognised as a race. A situation that saw 141 Covid cases recorded yesterday (25 July) and two people dead, one of which was a 30-year old woman.

 

The irony for Gladys Berejiklian was Victoria’s NO to vaccine support for Western Sydney. After all, she had previously refused them the same request.

 

With South Western Sydney locked down, businesses are failing, families are hurting financially and people do not see hope for the future. Is it any wonder that anarchy reared its ugly head last Saturday when 3,800 rallied against the imposed restrictions?

 

The Saturday rally should never have occurred, it was wrong on every level and was fated to get out of control. The participants have no excuse for what they did, nor do the people that attacked the police, but the culmination of that event was born out of a feeling of frustration and utter helplessness and not being told the truth by Gladys Berejiklian, despite the reality of the event being a massive Covid Delta variant cluster.

 

People need to know the truth and the Government needs to release the health advice it is relying upon to make the major decisions that affect the economic and social fabric of New South Wales. This would enable the vast majority of the community to gain a better understanding as to why decisions such as this current lockdown are taken, and how they are important in protecting lives and livelihoods.

 

If the Government isn’t prepared to take the people of New South Wales into their confidence how can they expect co operation from its citizens? Following the health advice will get us through this lockdown, and it will be even more powerful if everyone in NSW can access it, and have a better understanding as to the rationale behind Government decisions that impact on their daily life.

 

If Gladys Berejiklian remains secretive, anarchy is bound to rise again. Thirty-eight hundred people don’t just appear out of nowhere, it takes determination and planning and despite the Government’s cries that they will hunt them down will not quell an uprising. We see it happen only too often in the United States, and we do not want it happening in NSW.

 

Yet, rather than be truthful about why they make their decisions, the Berejiklian Government believes that fining people who do not comply as the acceptable remedy. Clearly the punitive approach is not working and is not the answer. The answer lies in being truthful with the community and then people will understand and be more prepared to be compliant to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Or does Gladys Berejiklian see no compliance as another cash grab for the Treasurer’s coffers? Just like the unmarked speed cameras, which are no more than revenue raising.

 

The financial cost to workers

 

Despite Scott Morrison so far providing $1 billion to help business stay afloat and the NSW State Government touting another $4 billion in help, the money has more legs than a centipede in trying access it. And its not just business in Sydney that’s hurting, the lockdown has impacted the Central Coast with many businesses having to close their doors.

 

On Channel Seven’s morning program yesterday (25 July) Gladys Berijiklian, after reaffirming her Government’s pledge to help business and the community financially, was asked by a news reporter, “will everyone that needs financial help be able to access it?”

 

Gladys Berejiklian’s eyes rolled, she looked away and then down, and in an instant politics came into play as she avoided a direct answer.

 

The truth is that accessing financial help is like trying to negotiate a minefield.

 

Chris, a Central Coast resident and self-employed called his tax agent to work out what amounts to a 80% loss of income during this latest lockdown on the Central Coast. His tax agent sent him a link so that he could complete a personal application, advising him "this is the only option".

 

After numerous bureaucratic application processes on applying via the link given to him, Chris said, “this was a total waste of time for over half an hour.”

 

When Chris finally got to the section where he was able to actually apply the link that his tax agent had given to him, he discovered that he now needed to call the telephone number that was referenced there. Chris called the number and got the artificial intelligence (AI) voice machine.

 

After another excruciating verification process the AI voice advised him to go to the link he had just tried to use. This is when he gave up in frustration.

 

Another classic catch 22, leaving people frustrated and financially stranded. And Gladys Berijiklian wonders why anarchy is only a heartbeat away!