THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECTS: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); citizenship; the year ahead.
PLIBERSEK: There are reports today that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is about to list to the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment for the prevention of HIV transmission. Of course if PrEP is recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, it would be critical for the Government to fund this breakthrough treatment immediately. PrEP has been an absolute game changer around the world and if Australia is to meet its target of zero new HIV infections, PrEP will be a critical part of meeting that target. This is an exciting breakthrough and the Government should not delay – people’s lives are counting on this.
I also wanted to say a few word about Susan Lamb's very brave statement in the Parliament yesterday. Susan was prepared to be referred to the High Court at the end of last year as other Labor members were. It was the Government that voted against the referral of Susan Lamb and others in similar circumstances to the High Court. Susan is still prepared to be referred to the High Court. Labor has written again to the Prime Minister urging a bulk referral as long as all people whose circumstances are similar are referred at once. What we have at the moment is a government who heard Susan's statement yesterday and are still saying that they want to refer her but not people on their own side in similar circumstances, it's just not fair. Let's do one job lot referral so that anyone about whom there are questions is referred at once and that we put a line under this issue. Australians are absolutely sick of talking about citizenship issues. We can end this once and for all. We believe that Susan is absolutely fine, we believe all of the Labor MPs about whom the Government continues to raise questions have no legal case to answer but we are prepared for that to be tested, as long as the people that we say have a problem on the government side are tested at the same time. Let's get it over with. Any questions?
JOURNALIST: First week back, you know, you've got some goals this year that you want to achieve, will you share any? What do you hope to achieve?
PLIBERSEK: Yeah I have a goal. I have a goal of holding this Government to account so that working people in this country get a decent deal and I hope that if we as a party, the Labor Party, are united and disciplined and focus on what matters to people: their pay packet, their job security, their children's schools, TAFEs, universities, a strong healthcare system. I hope our goal is that we chase the Government down at the next election, and come to govern Australia.