Canberra Report - Taxes and Vaccines - Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Canberra Report - Taxes and Vaccines - Wednesday, 28 July 2021 Main Image

By Joel Fitzgibbon

28 July 2021

The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party’s promise not to repeal the already legislated Stage 3 tax cuts is the right one.  Our world, our economy and our communities are constantly changing and reforming our tax system is never finished business. The package the Parliament passed is different than any Labor Government would have designed. But the tax system will be better for it, not worse. 


The other important point to remember is that the tax cuts were passed after the 2019 election. Given Scott Morrison promised he’d legislate them if he was re-elected, he can rightly argue he had a mandate to do so.




Understandably, all of the media’s COVID-19 coverage is focused on Sydney. But the regions are hurting too. Our local economy relies heavily on Sydney and Central Coast visitors and for weeks now, they’ve been missing.  So, too, has the money they bring with them.


The impact hits not just our wineries, restaurants, wedding venues, balloon ride businesses and the like, it’s also hits all those businesses which supply goods and services to them. Fresh food supplies for our restaurants an obvious example. In turn, this is impacting on jobs and family incomes.


We’ve been lucky the virus hasn’t made its way to the Hunter and our economy has not been as badly affected as has Sydney’s.  But the local situation is bad and we need more government assistance. More particularly, we need to double down on our efforts to vaccinate more people so that Sydney can open up again.


It is no longer a political point to say that the Federal Government failed us badly by not ordering more vaccines and more vaccine options.  That is also true of its failure to build fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities.  These are just the facts.  But dwelling on those mistakes won’t help us going forward.  What we need is better performance.




It is unfair to label people who are concerned about receiving the AstraZeneca as “anti-vaxxers”.  It is not irrational to harbour concerns. But the risk of falling dangerously ill to the Delta variant of COVID-19 is much greater than any risk AstraZeneca poses.


NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant did us all a favour last week when she listed those members of her own family who have received two AstraZeneca jabs. The local GPs I speak with are strong advocates of the vaccine.  To date, less than 40 per cent of Australian adults are partially vaccinated. Less than 20 percent are fully vaccinated.  It’s not enough.


If we are to avoid future lockdowns and return to something close to pre-COVID life, we must lift vaccination numbers. Scott Morrison has limited our vaccine choices and while more choices are belatedly on their way, we don’t have a moment to lose.  Please speak with your GP if you have concerns.  Leaving it in the too-hard basket is like ignoring symptoms and failing to see you GP in a timely way.  But there is a difference, avoiding vaccination has consequences for others too.