Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has joined the call for a royal commission into Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, warning that the country should not rest on its laurels and needs to be prepared for future pandemics.
“I hope that at the end of this process, instead of saying ‘Thank God it’s over’, and just forget about it. There will be a serious investigation, if you wish, a royal commission, national level. But to take a long and hard look at what we did right,” the former prime minister told the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). “Australia’s Heartland with Tony Abbott” podcast.
“Because there will be another pandemic. Could happen in a year. This could happen in a decade; It could happen in a century. But there will be another pandemic and it is important that our successes benefit from our discussions about what went right and what went wrong,” he said.
Abbott’s remarks came after Labor members and independent Senator Rex Patrick called for a royal commission.
“We want a bipartisan, fully fledged, impartial royal commission so that everyone who is suffering during these crises can see everything on the table,” Wayne Swann, Labor National president and former treasurer, told the Nine Network.
Meanwhile, Abbott also acknowledged the challenge of Australian leaders in tackling the pandemic, especially with health advice evolving day by day.
“There’s a sense in which they are cursed if they do and they are cursed if they don’t,” he said. “And while as a former health minister I gave my medical experts a bit of slack, they weren’t infallible.”
“Certainly, throughout this pandemic,” the science “has shifted from day to day, and it differs from state to state,” he said.
“So it would have been better for all of us, if there was more transparency and it would have been published at that time. Now it’s all dirty water under the bridge in a sense, that is, we are where we are.
Senator Rex Patrick recently won an appeal for Australia’s national cabinet to release documents based on its decision-making around the pandemic.
The national cabinet was formed in March 2020 and consists of the Prime Minister as well as state and region leaders. Its main objective was to coordinate the nation’s response to COVID-19.
Abbott acknowledged that some parts of the Australian population were suffering from prolonged- and repeated-lockdowns.
“Sometimes it’s great when people whose jobs are completely secure tell people in insecure jobs that their jobs have become even less secure for their own good,” he said.
“We run a risk all the time. Every time we get in the car, we’re taking a risk. Every time we get on our bikes, we’re taking a risk. Every time we head to the surf If we go out, we are taking a risk,” he said.
“There have been times over the past 18 months when I’ve wondered whether we’ve really struck that balance right, with safety first being a very controversial adage sometimes.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times