Former Australian Prime Minister has hit out at New South Wales’s Premier Dominic Perrottet for claiming he can’t remove vaccine mandates that still apply to the state’s public servants.
Morrison sat down with Sky News Australia for an interview. It was approximately one-year-ago that Morrison was defeated by current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Morrison said the mandates were initially put in place for “aged care and sensitive health settings” but said that Australia had “moved on” from the pandemic.
“On vaccination mandates, they were not imposed by the federal government other than for aged care and sensitive health settings which I don’t think there’s been too much dispute about,” Mr Morrison said in the interview which will air on Sky News Australia from 5pm AEDT on Monday.
“The federal government did not support any other mandate at all, all of those mandates were done by state governments.
“That is the decision of state governments and that is their responsibility.”
Morrison’s comments come as frustration is starting to grow in the public sector about teachers, emergency service workers and health professionals requiring proof of vaccination to work.
The New South Wales government no longer has any public health orders in place that require staff to be vaccinated, although some workplaces have imposed their own mandates.
Perrottet stated that he asked parts of the public sector to drop the mandates last week, but noted he did not “have power over the whole sector.
“There are certain areas of the public service where I do not have that power,” Mr Perrottet told 2GB’s Ben Fordham last week.
“I’ve made it abundantly clear what my position on this is and it’s based on evidence and there is no evidence that vaccines in the current environment have any impact at all on transmission of COVID.”
Morrison dismissed his claim and said that the state government had the authority to remove the mandates.
“Of course premiers can do something about it,” he said.
“But not once as prime minister did I delegate my authority as prime minister to make decisions to any public servant.
“So any decision that was made by them well you had to own and you had the ability to say no. You have to take the consequences of saying no and going against that advice. I accept that.”
Morrison said the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee never advised the country to go for blanket vaccine mandates.
“The expert medical panel that guided and advised throughout the pandemic, they never agreed to wide scale vaccine mandates,” Mr Morrison said.
“Not once, other than for aged care and for sensitive public facing medical roles, they did not recommend collective mandates.
“Individual states went down that path, the federal government and the medical expert advisory panel…never recommended to the National Cabinet, never once, that those broad mandates should be applied.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE GUARDIAN
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