The Albanese Government’s failure to conduct a proper inquiry into school closures and other COVID-19 decisions made unilaterally by the States and Territories fails every Australian family.
Labor’s ‘Clayton’s inquiry’ puts the Prime Minister’s political interests ahead of Australia’s national interest.
The closure of schools which caused such damage to young Australians, particularly in Victoria, must be front and centre of any inquiry.
This Labor Government went to the last election on a platform of transparency, yet any inquiry which does not investigate the actions of the States is further proof that Prime Minister Albanese is running a protection racket for his Labor Premier mates.
Families in Melbourne, the most locked-down city in the world, are still suffering from the consequences of Premier Andrews’ decisions to close schools for such long periods which caused widespread harm to the learning, development and mental health of children.
From the shooting of protestors with rubber bullets to the overnight curfew to the closure of borders, workplaces, playgrounds and schools, Victorians endured some of the most extreme pandemic restrictions of any in the world.
At the beginning of the pandemic in Australia, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, supported by the Coalition Government, advised that schools were safe and should remain open.
The independent Fault Lines report, an independent review into Australia’s response to COVID-19, recommended that schools should have stayed open.
It is critical that Australians learn the lessons of the pandemic and any inquiry without proper powers to engage the States is nothing more than an anti-Coalition witch hunt.