Coalition of Senators Call for Accountability Inquiry Into Government’s COVID Response

“An Australian coalition of six senators is pushing to establish an official inquiry into Australia’s pandemic prison rules.”

An Australian coalition of six senators is pushing to establish an official inquiry into Australia’s pandemic prison rules.

The senators: Alex Antic (LNP), Matt Canavan (LNP), Ralph Babet (UAP), Matt O’Sullivan (LNP), Gerrard Rennick (LNP), and Malcolm Roberts (PHON), put forward the COVID-19 Response Commission of Inquiry Bill 2024 on Tuesday.

All six senators have been stalwarts of the pro-freedom resistance since “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned Australia into a prison state.

The important bill would give the COVID Commission coalition the necessary powers to “inquire into, and report to Parliament,” pandemic policy, procedure, and policing.

Specifically, the power to perform a robust, and rigorous investigation into the ‘responses by governments of the Commonwealth, States and Territories’ to the Chinese Communist Party pandemic.

These powers would include the right to “issue of a warrant to arrest any witness called to testify, who fails to attend in accordance with the summons.”

Illustrating just how serious the senators are, failure to attend, and present documents requested by the COVID commission, comes with a 6-month prison penalty.

The same penalty applies to “any person, if without reasonable excuse refuses or fails to comply when required to be sworn in or give evidence.”

Clause 15 adds the potential for search warrants, where, “the Commission has reasonable grounds for suspecting that relevant material might exist, that could also be concealed, lost, mutilated or destroyed.”

This includes granting the Australian Federal Police (AFP) the ability to “seize any additional material found in the course of searching, that the AFP considers relevant.”

Well within the parameters of human rights legislation, the expressed purpose of the bill is to “improve responses in the event of future global pandemics.”

As well as, “consider the human impacts of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the particular impacts on vulnerable people.”

Senator Canavan, upon a second reading of bill in the upper house on June 25, said, “The last few years have seen the biggest restrictions on the freedoms of Australians outside of wartime.

“Australian governments have locked people in their homes, prevented them seeing their loved ones in their final moments, forced some to take medical treatments against their wishes and closed small businesses.”

On top of this government has spent AUD $300 billion to make pandemic policing more palatable.

As a consequence, the government’s response to the crisis, created a cost-of-living crisis, “causing an inflation breakout that continues to hurt the standard of living of most Australians.”

Current inquiries, he asserted, lack a backbone.

“The ‘Clayton’s inquiry’ that the Prime Minister has established is an insult to all of the Australians who suffered from the harsh COVID-19 measures that state and federal governments took,” Canavan said.

For instance, “Actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments’ have been explicitly excluded from the scope of his inquiry.”

The senators new commission shouldn’t be needed, he added.

Unfortunately, “our government seems to want to hide from accountability.

“We have taken the step to introduce this Bill so that the Senate, and the Parliament, can do its job and hold the Executive Government to account.”

Since Australia’s elected executives seem unwilling to institute a Royal Commission, this proposed COVID commission of inquiry, Canavan explained, is the next best thing.

“The Parliament can establish a “Commission of Inquiry” with all the same powers and independence of a Royal Commission, and this is what this Bill would do.”

Speaking to the bill’s intent, Canavan stated, “We propose this Bill in the spirit of forgiveness and understanding.

 “We understand the anger that many feel about the decisions that upturned their lives and, in some cases, destroyed their lives.

“To put our society back together we must confront the difficult task to forgive mistakes.

”If people broke the law in the response to the pandemic, then those officials should be accountable under the law.

“This Commission of Inquiry would have the powers to refer such matters to the appropriate authorities.”

Posting about the bill on X, One Nation’s, Malcolm Roberts wrote, “Two years ago, I promised to hound down those responsible for the damage our COVID measures caused to Australians.

“Today, in company with Senators Antic, Canavan, Rennick and O’Sullivan, a Bill was introduced to immediately commence a Senate Select Commission of Inquiry into our #COVID response.”

Senator Antic, in his own post on X, said he was pleased to co-sponsor the C19 Commission of Inquiry, adding,  “If passed, this Bill would establish a formal Commission of Inquiry into Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic would be undertaken.”

Worth noting, most of the six senators are also part of a united move to repeal Albanese’s Digital ID bill.

Read the full COVID-19 Response Commission of Inquiry Bill 2024 here.

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