Scott Morrison has a brand new assault phrase. “Shakedown”.
“Shakedown” is outlined as “an unlawful or deceitful try to get cash from somebody, for instance by swindling or blackmailing them”.
In yet one more episode within the outdated federal-state blame sport, the Morrison authorities is accusing Queensland specifically of this unsavoury apply, with its Mafia connotations.
As NSW, Victoria and the ACT look in the direction of shifting out of lockdowns, the pressure will come on already stretched hospital programs.
The hospital capability of Queensland, with minimal COVID, can be rapidly examined as soon as it opened its border – because the Morrison authorities needs it to do in accordance with the COVID nationwide plan’s vaccination ranges. The identical goes for Western Australia, which has a notoriously careworn hospital system.
Final week well being ministers from each state and territory signed a letter to the federal authorities saying: “We’re coming into into probably the most important section of the COVID-19 pandemic response for our hospital programs.
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“Whereas we nonetheless want collaborative effort to seek out long run options to points impacting our hospital programs, these have now been overtaken by the urgent want to deal with the scenario at hand.
“All states and territories require instant extra Commonwealth funding to help the pressures at the moment on our well being programs.”
On Friday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk linked the necessity for extra hospital funding to Queensland’s border opening.
Morrison pushed again, declaring the pandemic shouldn’t “be used as an excuse for shakedown politics”.
On Tuesday the prime minister was giving “shakedown” one other exercise, focusing on Queensland exhausting.
Pressed on Brisbane radio about Palaszczuk wanting extra money, Morrison mentioned, “we’re not going to reply to shakedowns in a pandemic.”
He identified that “we’ve elevated our funding to hospitals in Queensland, since we got here to authorities, by 99.2%”, saying this in comparison with a 55.3% enhance by Queensland over the identical interval.
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In one other interview Morrison went additional. “[To] say, ‘nicely … I’m going to carry the federal authorities to ransom and to hunt to extort from them cash on the idea of COVID’ – I simply don’t assume is the fitting solution to go.”
“We’ve shared 50/50 the prices of COVID on the well being system, greater than $30 billion across the nation […] So we’ve been doing our bit.
“In fact there are challenges, however as a state authorities, they’ve obtained to be liable for their state well being system. New South Wales is getting on with it. Victoria is getting on with it. The ACT is getting on with it. So Queensland must get on with it.”
There have been combined messages out of Queensland about whether or not its hospital system is ample to the challenges forward.
Well being Minister Greg Hunt insisted on Tuesday “on the recommendation that we have now, the entire states and territories have ready. They’ve ready for a surge.”
If Queensland had a problem when they didn’t have COVID pressures, “that isn’t associated to COVID”, he mentioned, suggesting the state authorities ought to spend extra money.
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Hunt mentioned Queensland had “obtained themselves in a pickle of on the one hand saying their hospitals are ready, alternatively making an attempt to justify utilizing cash as a foundation for closing borders.”
The adequacy, or not, of the nation’s hospital programs basically, and that in Queensland specifically, is documented in work for nationwide cupboard that’s overseen by the Secretary of the Well being Division Brendan Murphy and frequently up to date for nationwide cupboard.
Murphy was requested throughout a Tuesday look with Hunt when that doc can be launched. He mentioned:“I’d favour a clear method, however nationwide cupboard will make that call”.
The nationwide cupboard ought to instantly launch this evaluation.
The general public has the fitting to know whether or not we may be assured about hospital adequacy as we transfer into this new section of the pandemic.
Michelle Grattan doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.