Bill Shorten mocks Gladys Berejiklian for Daniel Andrews request


Bill Shorten has mocked Gladys Berejiklian and her New South Wales government for requesting emergency supplies of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from other states.

Despite claiming the general public was “over the squabbling” between state premiers, former federal Labor leader Mr Shorten suggested it was rich for the NSW government to ask Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to “come rescue us” with additional Pfizer doses after “sneering” at his lockdown measures during Melbourne’s outbreak last year.

With NSW’s Covid outbreak worsening by the day, recording 163 cases on Saturday, Health Minister Brad Hazzard requested additional Pfizer supplies be given to NSW from other states and territories.

But Mr Shorten, appearing on ABC Insiders on Sunday, said an SOS for more Pfizer seemed ironic when he was asked if Victoria should send spare vaccines to NSW.

“Last year the New South Wales Government was sneering at Dan Andrews, now they are saying, ‘Hey, Dan, rescue us’. I honestly believe two wrongs don’t make a right,” Mr Shorten said.

“The truth of the matter is we make AZ (AstraZeneca) in Australia, and there has been so much mixed messaging over AZ, now it has got back on track in my opinion, we should use AZ.

“There is just also not that much Pfizer in Australia.”

About 50,000 additional Pfizer doses are set to land in Sydney this coming week after the NSW government requested them.

However, the doses will not be taken from allocations already made to other states and territories after that request from NSW was rejected.

The doses will come from a small federal contingency of Pfizer doses and it is expected they will arrive in NSW by the end of next week

In the same interview on Sunday, Mr Shorten also criticised state premiers for engaging in a war of words.

“We are cheering our (Olympic) teams on in Tokyo, but here (in Australia) we are in the hunger games and I think people are over the squabbling,” he said.

Ms Berejiklian was last year accused of criticising Mr Andrews when Victoria was locked down for a long period due to a massive Covid-19 outbreak.

But on Friday Mr Andrews dealt a blow of his own, claiming “Sydney is on fire with this virus” while also calling for a “ring of steel around Sydney”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison then poured cold water on Mr Andrews’ comments.

“The only view that matters on this is the view of the New South Wales Premier because they are responsible for how they manage the lockdown in New South Wales,” he said.

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