‘It’s not on’: ScoMo lashes out
Scott Morrison has savaged a union at the centre of a pay dispute for Sydney wharfies, accusing it of preventing vital medical supplies making their way to Australians.
The Maritime Union of Australia has denied its industrial action tactics with Patrick Terminal are causing medical shortages.
But the Prime Minister lashed out at the union during a press conference on Tuesday saying "it's not on".
"There are 40 ships and I'm told there's some 90,000 containers out there that includes medical supplies," Mr Morrison said.
"This is just extraordinary, appalling behaviour. And they as much as admitted it on morning television this morning... that is just straight-out extortion. That is reprehensible.
"We cannot have the militant end of the union movement effectively engaging in a campaign of extortion against the Australian people in the middle of a COVID-19 recession."
Mr Morrison said the government would take whatever steps necessary to ensure the dispute was brought to a swift conclusion.
"Whatever differences people have on the waterfront about this, I would ask them to put it aside," he said.
On quarantine issues, Mr Morrison said home quarantine could play a key role in Australia reopening its international borders.
He said the Chinese Australian community followed home quarantine requirements strictly and helped Australia control its first wave.
"Home quarantine can play a role in the future and it's something that is being considered by (expert medical panel) the AHPPC," he said.
"Our borders open up at some point to safe locations, whether it be New Zealand or parts of the Pacific or places like South Korea or Japan … then there are opportunities to look at those alternative methods.
"When it comes in that will obviously be determined principally by the health advice that can provide a green light to those sorts of options once again but I'm hopeful it's something we can move to."
Mr Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday unveiled an almost $800m digital business plan, which includes access to Centrelink and Medicare via facial recognition technology and $30m to fast-track the 5G network.
Mr Frydenberg said the measures included in the Budget would support businesses to thrive in the digital world.
Mr Morrison said next week's Budget would be one of the most important since the Second World War.
"The Budget will confirm once again the strong plan we have for economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession," he said.
"It is about cushioning the blow, it is about recovering what was lost, and it is about building for the future."
Originally published as 'It's not on': ScoMo lashes out