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Speech: Covid-19 Economic Response Bill

I'm speaking from my home in lockdown, as greater Sydney has entered its sixth week of lockdown. Millions of people are under stay-at-home orders as the virus circulates in our community Tragically, people are dying because vaccinations haven't been provided even to essential workers who have to leave home and are expected to stoically put their health and that of their families at risk. It was heartbreaking to hear today of the death of 27-year-old Aude Alaskar, who collapsed in his Warwick Farm unit.

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Motion: Sex education

I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australian school students are crying out for clear and direct education on sex and consent,

(ii) the Federal Government's 'Respect matters' resources for schools were announced in 2015, re-announced twice and launched six years later to the condemnation of experts and survivors for promoting harmful ideas about consent and relationships,

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Speech: India and COVID-19

My heart goes out to the people of India, who are basically experiencing immeasurable suffering at this moment. We are thinking of you. We are trying to do everything we can to support you and are pushing the Australian government to meet its moral obligations. The government's disregard for the lives and the health of people overseas has become striking over the past couple of weeks. The Morrison government's threat of jail time for stranded Australians trying to return home from India is absolutely horrific, it's discriminatory and it is racist.

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Question: COVID-19 and the World Trade Organisation

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:19): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Cash. Globally, thousands are dying from COVID-19 each day because they don't have treatment or vaccines. At the same time, majority-white Western countries like ours are hoarding vaccines and ordering more than they will ever need.

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US patent waiver support leaves Australia isolated

The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to support the patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

The Greens say that the United States’ announced support for the waiver of intellectual property provisions on COVID-19 vaccines has put further pressure on Australia to back the proposal.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development, said:

“Australia must immediately follow the United States and back the TRIPS waiver. We are one of the hold-outs and it’s morally indefensible.

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Australia must back vaccine patent waiver: Greens

The Greens have reiterated their calls for Australia to support a global vaccine patent waiver, supported by more than 100 countries, ahead of a critical World Trade Organization council meeting on Friday.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, International Aid and Development spokesperson, said:

“This is a matter of global justice and responsibility. It is morally bankrupt for Australia to give anything other than full-throated support for the patent waiver.

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Speech: COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 has exposed many structural inequities in Australia and internationally, from economic insecurity to wildly unequal access to health services. In 2021, the global vaccine rollout has come sharply into focus. Australia has the means to acquire and distribute a life-saving vaccine amongst our population. Make no mistake: this is a privilege. But what we are seeing on an international level is rich nations making strides towards full immunity while poorer nations are left behind. Australia is complicit in this.

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Australia Must Support Equal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines

The Greens have said that Australia must support a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal that would waive intellectual property provisions to allow Covid-19 vaccine production to be rolled out and made accessible and affordable to everyone in the global community.

The WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council is meeting this week, with the Covid-19 vaccine on the agenda.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid & Development, said:

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WHO should be strengthened, not weakened

The Australian Greens have condemned US President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that the United States will withdraw critical funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and cautions the Australian government from signalling any similar action.

As the international body responsible for coordinating the world’s response to pandemics like the current COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that governments maintain their financial commitments to the organisation. 

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Speech: Coronavirus Racism

I want to acknowledge the extraordinary work of the agencies and experts around the world who are managing the response to the coronavirus outbreak. I acknowledge in particular the loved ones of those who are no longer with us, and the medical staff caring for victims deserve our thanks. Despite the hysteria and terrible consequences of the virus, both medical and social, we can and will get through this.

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