Australians Deserve Full Covid-19 Response Royal Commission

Written by:
1 February 2024
Australians Deserve Full Covid-19 Response Royal Commission - Featured image

“Australians are entitled to nothing less than a comprehensive royal commission into the disastrous federal and state government response to Covid-19 pandemic, however the current inquiry is nothing more than a protection racket for key government officials,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

This morning at 8.30am AEDT, the IPA’s Daniel Wild and Morgan Begg will be providing evidence before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee’s hearing into the terms of reference for a Covid-19 royal commission.

“When in Opposition, the Prime Minister promised a full royal commission into the Covid-19 response. Instead, the current departmental inquiry explicitly excludes assessing “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments” such as lockdowns, mandates, and state border closures,” said Mr Wild.

“There were numerous economic, mental health, medical, lifestyle, and community harms brought about by criminalising everyday life, which no Australian government has answered for, or it seems with this current inquiry, will be asked to account for.”

Australians cannot have confidence in the leadership of this inquiry as it is being led by a politically appointed panel of three people, two of which were supporters of Victoria’s lockdowns; Dr Angela Jackson and Professor Catherine Bennett.

“It is clear the Covid-19 inquiry is designed to do no more than provide cover for key government officials, rather than give Australians the information they need to ensure that mistakes made during the pandemic will not be repeated,” said Mr Wild.

Research by the Institute of Public Affairs has highlighted the need for a full royal commission into the federal and state government responses to Covid-19. For example, the research established:

  • The total direct government fiscal cost of the Covid measures to at $938 billion, which is roughly the equivalent to 35% of annual GDP.
  • The impacts of lockdowns were inequitable, with low-income earners, small businesses, and private sector workers disproportionately impacted.
  • Basic legal protections and safeguards were routinely discarded by government officials, for example in the likely unlawful arrest of Ballarat mother Zoe Buhler for publishing her opinion about lockdowns on social media.

“Every Australian deserves a full and complete account of what happened during the pandemic to shed light on how the humanitarian disaster of lockdowns and mandates were approved in the corridors of power,” said Mr Wild.

“Instead, we are getting a sham inquiry that will do little more than provide protection to government officials who engaged in draconian overreach.”

To download the IPA’s proposed terms of reference for a Covid-19 royal commission click here.

To download the IPA’s previous research click here and here.

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