Dan Andrews accuses Scott Morrison of ‘pandering to extremists’ Australia Melbourne
Dan Andrews has accused Scott Morrison of ‘pandering to extremists’ a second time for his insistence that states dump vaccine mandates.
The prime minister has repeatedly demanded the unvaccinated not have additional restrictions put on them, claiming ‘frustrated’ Australians have had a ‘gutful of governments telling them what to do over the last two years’.
Mr Andrews hit back at the the PM again on Sunday, saying the comments ‘speak to his character and leadership’.
‘When the prime minister stops doublespeaking to extremists his relationship with me will be a lot better,’ he said.
Dan Andrews has accused Scott Morrison of ‘pandering to extremists’ after the prime minister said he understood why people were protesting around the country
‘Why the prime minister or anybody else instead of just standing up on Thursday and condemning violence and congratulating Victorians for what they’d done, he couldn’t do that. He was incapable of doing that.’
Mr Morrison was asked about Victoria hitting its milestone of five million fully vaccinted residents and on track to soon crack 90 per cent double jabbed.
He also commented on Melbourne’s ongoing protests, which saw a wooden gallows rolled in front of Parliament House and an effigy of the premier hanged, with other groups chanting ‘kill Dan Andrews’.
While denouncing the violence of the ongoing demonstrations and reports of personal threats to a number of ministers across the state, he said he understood their frustration.
‘There are many people who are feeling frustrated,’ he told reporters.
Last week Mr Morrison said he understood how ‘frustrated’ Australians have had a ‘gutful of governments telling them what to do over the last two years’
‘It’s time for governments to step back and for Australians to take their lives back’.
Mr Andrews slammed the comments, saying he was ‘offended on behalf of all Victorians’.
‘We have seen extremists, rabid anti-vaxxers and others making all sorts of threats, threats against me, my wife and my kids,’ he said.
‘I’m committed to doing what has to be done. I’m not about chasing, through doublespeak, the votes of extremists or their preferences.
‘The fact that he couldn’t just pause and say “well done” without pandering to extremists is beyond me.
‘He knows my views. He knows them very, very clearly. Because I don’t doublespeak.’
Mr Morrison rejected the sentiment, saying he had ‘no sympathy for violence’ but again doubled down on supporting ‘frustrated’ Australians.
‘I was very clear yesterday in denunciating any violence, threats or intimidation that is applied against anyone, and we have absolutely no truck with that whatsoever,’ he said.
‘I don’t have sympathy for violence, I don’t have sympathy for threats.
‘I have sympathy for Australians who have had a gutful of governments telling them what to do over the last two years.’
Mr Miles accused the PM of undermining the state’s pandemic response for his own ‘cynical political interests’ while Ms Palaszczuk said she was ‘extremely disappointed’
Mr Morrison was also attacked by the Queensland premier and her deputy last week after he said residents should have similar rights regardless of their vaccination status.
‘They should be able to go to a get a cup of coffee in Brisbane, regardless of whether you’ve had a vaccine or not,’ he told reporters on Thursday.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles lashed out at the prime minister’s comments, accusing him of throwing his weight behind ‘dangerous fringe elements’ such as the anti-government protesters in Melbourne.
Mr Miles accused Mr Morrison of undermining the state’s pandemic response for his own ‘cynical political interests’.
‘He is so desperate to claw together a coalition of anti-vaxxers for his own political benefit that he is undermining confidence in our vaccine,’ he told parliament.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison took aim at Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Queensland government over her vaccine mandate during a tour of the Tooheys brewery in Sydney
In a dig at Ms Palaszczuk, Mr Morrison said unvaccinated people should be able to do something as simple as ‘get a cup of coffee’ and not be locked out of simple conveniences.
‘Now it’s time for governments to step back and for Australians to take their life back,’ he said during a visit to the Tooheys brewery in Sydney on Thursday.
‘We aren’t in favour of mandatory vaccines imposed by the government. Businesses can make their own choices on the law but we aren’t about telling them or Australians what to do.
‘Vaccines are only mandatory in cases where you have health workers working with vulnerable people.
‘That’s what our medical advice has always been and, as we get above 80 per cent in particular… they should be able to go to a get a cup of coffee in Brisbane regardless of whether you’ve had a vaccine or not.’
Mr Morrison is under pressure from members of the Coalition who are opposed to vaccine mandates, with Queensland leaders accusing him of also placating anti-vax Australians.
‘It is extremely disappointing that the Prime Minister of our country is seeking now to undermine Queensland’s strong vaccination program,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘It is extremely disappointing not standing up for Queensland, and what Queenslanders want and what Queenslanders are doing.
‘Once again wanting to undermine the good work that Queensland has done.’