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South Africa's AstraZeneca suspension underlines urgency of local vaccine manufacture

The Greens say the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in South Africa shows the need for the government to establish a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia.

Australia needs to be nimble and able to quickly adapt vaccines to ever-mutating strains of COVID, which would only be possible with a local, publicly owned facility that puts health, not profits, first.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:

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Decades of manufacturing decline limits vaccine options, publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer could save lives

The Greens say that decades of decline in Australian manufacturing puts the nation at risk of having fewer options when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, and have called for a publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer.

Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are based on new technology (mRNA), and while CSL has capacity to manufacture the protein based vaccines it doesn’t at this time have the ability to produce mRNA.

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COVID vaccine needs action, not Government spin

Greens Leader Adam Bandt and Health spokesperson Dr. Richard Di Natale have called on the Morrison government to drop the spin and take real action on a COVID Vaccine.

The Greens say the government’s “big announcement” of a vaccine deal with AstraZeneca has turned out to have little substance and the government has also failed to join the COVAX global vaccine initiative despite the Prime Minister saying the world needs to share the vaccine.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:

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Publicly-owned COVID19 vaccine manufacturer may be only way to save lives: Greens

The Australian Greens have called on the government to establish publicly funded vaccine manufacturing capacity in Australia to ensure any COVID19 vaccine is available to all Australians.

A recent Defence science technology report outlined in today’s media has warned of a shortage in vaccines in Australia during a pandemic because of the lack of production capacity in Australia.

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Order for Production of Documents: Australian Research Council

The Greens support this order for the production of documents, given the lack of transparency in the Morrison government and how they have politicised research grants. It is absolutely shameful. It wasn't too long ago that the Liberals inserted a jingoistic so-called national interest test for ARC grants. It wasn't too long ago that Senator Birmingham vetoed research grants that had gone through rigorous processes to be recommended for funding. During the election, the Morrison government used ARC grant announcements to try to gain electoral benefit.

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Speech: Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2019

I rise to speak on the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2019. This bill merely indexes the Australian Research Council's funding to keep pace with inflation. That's not good enough; frankly, it's pathetic. We need to make sure that our best minds are given the resources that they need to help us face the twin crises of the climate emergency and rising inequality.

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Greens move to depoliticise research funding

The Greens will move in the House and the Senate to reverse the Liberal government’s recent politicisation of Australian Research Council grants by requiring the Minister to publicly release all successful grant applications in a timely manner and without other government MPs or candidates involved.
 
The government recently changed the ARC rules so that grants could be announced by Coalition MPs – and only Coalition MPs – even when the successful grant was outside the government MP’s electorate.
 

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Greens launch science and research policy

Media release: Greens launch science and research policy

Greens science, research and innovation spokesperson Adam Bandt MP will today launch the Greens’ policy to put Australia on a pathway to reaching 4% investment of GDP in science, research and innovation. Mr Bandt launched the policy today in his electorate at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia’s oldest medical research institute.

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Solar thermal plant should be publicly-owned: Greens

State and Federal Governments must intervene to save Australia’s first baseload solar thermal power plant, following the collapse of Solar Reserve’s plans, the Greens say.

 

“I’ve written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and SA Premier Steven Marshall today to urgently ensure this project is saved, fixed, and funded. So South Australia gets the jobs, investment and permanent lower power bills,” Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young said.

 

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