MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
MONDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Omicron; Vaccination Rates in Papua New Guinea; Booster Shots; Delta Outbreak in Western Sydney.
PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Joining us live now is Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland. Michelle, thanks for your time. As always, I should start by asking you what your thoughts are on the Government's response so far to Omicron.
MICHELLE ROWLAND, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: I think it's important for us to remain calm and remember the basics. The fact is we have the best scientists in the world. We are operating in a situation now where essentially it's a risk matrix. What do we need to do in order to ensure our people are kept safe? What do we need to do to ensure that we can continue to have a functioning economy? I think it's very important for people, just as the NSW Premier said just then, to remember to book in for your booster shot, and to keep practicing all of those safety measures that became so familiar to all of us.
STEFANOVIC: We also have a vaccination rate that is amongst the highest in the world. I mean, that is something to be considered whenever there is the prospect of a knee jerk reaction, right?
ROWLAND: That's absolutely right. The fact is that, unfortunately, countries and regions where these mutations and these new strains have emerged to those areas that are not highly vaccinated. I think we need to remember that on our doorstep, in Papua New Guinea, it's a very low vaccination rate, something like under 5%. So I think we should be looking very long-term to remember this virus is going to continue to mutate, we are going to have to learn to live with it. There are measures we should be looking at now to ensure that Australians are kept safe into the future as well.
STEFANOVIC: It looks like there is another case of Omicron that's just been confirmed by the NSW Premier. Given that you saw the consequences of the Delta outbreak in your electorate last time, would you be urging anything different this time around at all?
ROWLAND: I think a very measured approach is being taken here. We should support the health advice and follow that advice. The strong advice that I would give to all of my constituents in Western Sydney is to book in for your booster shot, continue practicing safe hygiene, and we are going to have new normals, we are going to need to ensure that we continue to check in and continue to follow the rules. I am confident that this risk matrix approach will mean that we can continue to live with some normality but also keep ourselves safe, and aware of the dangers that are posed by this very serious threat.
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