Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health Anne Webster has labelled Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s inquiry into the handling of COVID-19 a ‘Koala Court’ because it is too cuddly towards Labor state premiers.
“Usually, questionable inquiries are kangaroo courts, but in this case the Prime Minister has gone out of his way to avoid scrutiny of state and territory actions during the pandemic, it’s more of a ‘cuddly koala court’,” Dr Webster said, “Worse still, the PM seems to think it will turn into a drop bear on the former Coalition government but I think Australians have seen through this shambles from the get-go. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”
Dr Webster’s electorate of Mallee borders both South Australia and New South Wales and was hammered not only by border restrictions but lockdowns based on cases in Melbourne six hours away.
“I have written today to the Prime Minister asking him to remember how Victorians and Australians suffered from lockdowns and border closures, not to mention the job losses due to mandatory vaccination policies. New Zealand is having a Royal Commission and I think the majority of Australians always expected that once the COVID-19 curve had been flattened, there would be a comprehensive inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.
“This koala court is appalling, lacks the transparency Australians expect and is offensive to the grief and trauma that arose from, in some cases, unfounded knee-jerk government decisions.
“Premier Andrews’ obfuscation and denial during the pandemic and handballing in many respects the apparent running of the state to Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton was a disgrace. In reality, Andrews ruled with an iron fist throughout and the anger of my constituents, locked down at times on a spurious basis, remains palpable. Given that we can’t expect the Premier to stage a Royal Commission into himself, the PM’s koala court announcement is a huge disappointment to Mallee voters.”