Federal Parliament - Mr Clive Palmer [24 June 2021]

24 June 2021


Dr ALYYesterday my office received a call from a constituent who lives in Marangaroo. Lyn called my office because the residential village where she lives is home to several elderly residents and they have all received a flyer from the perpetual thorn in the side of WA—Clive Palmer. These flyers—and I've got them here—are absolutely disgraceful. They are full of misinformation and lies about COVID-19 and vaccines. They have been sent across WA to at-risk populations. This isn't without consequence. These are not parlour games here. Lyn advised my office, most worryingly, that all the elderly residents in her residential village cancelled their vaccine appointments after receiving these vile flyers. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

But there's another culprit here. The Morrison LNP government aided and abetted Clive Palmer in his High Court bid to close the WA borders at the height of the pandemic. The government continues to support Clive Palmer, albeit inadvertently, with its lack of a strategy to combat misinformation and disinformation about the vaccine rollout. There is no coherent communications strategy coming from this government to combat this kind of rubbish, which attacks and manipulates vulnerable populations who need the vaccine. They need the vaccine, but they are being duped by this horrid Clive Palmer—this perpetual pest Clive Palmer—into believing the lies and the misinformation. Where is the strategy to combat this kind of information? Where is the communications campaign to address vaccine hesitancy?

It can't be said enough that this government had two jobs: quarantine and vaccine. That's all. It's failed dismally on both. There is no excuse for this government continuing to drag its feet on an effective, coherent and consistent communications campaign around the vaccine rollout—as well as ensuring the safety and security of the vaccine rollout—to combat this kind of misinformation and disinformation, wherever it occurs. In this case, it's from Clive Palmer, but it's also online, through social media. It is a simple task and one that needs to be addressed with absolute urgency. I say to the people in Cowan: put this stuff in the bin. That's where it belongs.

DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Zimmerman): The honourable member's time has expired.

Dr ALY: I seek leave to table this document.

Leave granted.

Dr ALY: I table the document.