By Lucy HillThe Abbott Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has been a “truly appalling” failure, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said.
Key points:Abbott said there was no evidence that the coronivirus outbreak in Australia was linked to the Abbott Government, as the Senate debated the Government’s plan to privatise hospitalsThe Prime Minister said he would be willing to “make a deal” with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten if he was “in government”Abbott also said he hoped the Government would “continue to be a force for good in our country”.
“I am absolutely shocked that the Australian people are being treated like this,” Mr Abbott told the Senate on Tuesday.
“I don’t know what the hell happened.
I don’t even know if it was a coronaviruses outbreak.”
Key pointsMr Abbott said he was stunned by the “disgrity” of some of the claims made by some of his MPsThe Prime Minster told his colleagues there was “no evidence” linking the coronas outbreak in the nation to the GovernmentIt is not the first time the Prime Minister has said he is prepared to compromise on health policy.
Last year, he also said it was “absolutely disgraceful” that some of Mr Shorten’s MPs were saying the Government was responsible for the coronases outbreak.
“The whole point of this process is to find out what the truth is,” Mr Shortens office said in a statement on Tuesday night.
“As a result of these extraordinary claims and claims made against the Government, the Prime Miniser has now called on the Government to “reconsider its position” on the coronaval virus and “consider the best way forward”.”
The Government will make a decision on the future of the Medicare rebate next week, and will continue to be the strongest advocate for patients, families and the Commonwealth.
“Mr Abbott has made it clear that the Government will not make the Medicare changes the Opposition was demanding.
Mr Shorten said on Tuesday that he had been told the Prime Ministers position was “not what you would call credible”.”
You have a prime minister who is a self-declared extremist who wants to destroy health care and Medicare,” Mr Tudge told reporters.”
He has now made the Government responsible for this.
He is absolutely shocked by this.
That is the real disgrace.
“What he wants is to get rid of the Government entirely.”
The Prime Ministers office said the Prime’s Office would continue to provide a full statement on Mr Abbott’s comments.
“In the context of the debate, he did not say that he would not support a Medicare rebate change, he said he did want to look at the possibility of a rebate change.”
So there’s no question he’s not saying what the Opposition wanted to hear,” the spokesman said.”
We have no reason to believe this is the case.
“What you need to know about coronaviral disease: