The federal opposition has called for Australians to be given $300 vaccination payments in a bid to avoid lockdowns and boost struggling businesses.
The $6 billion policy, announced by Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Monday night, would grant the payment to “every person who is fully vaccinated by 1 December”.
“Vaccinations are a race Australians can no longer afford to lose,” he said, in a statement.
“The Morrison Government must make vaccines easily accessible to meet their target to vaccinate 80 per cent of adults.
“The faster this is achieved, the faster the recovery as we emerge from the lockdowns that are bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars a day from the nation’s finances.”
Labor argued the plan would not only further encourage Australians to line up for jabs but help boost businesses’ bottom lines.
“These payments will deliver significant cash stimulus for businesses who have paid the price for Scott Morrison’s failures on vaccines and quarantine for the past eighteen months,” Mr Albanese said.
“The government has guaranteed that Australia will have more than enough vaccines to meet the 80 per cent target by 1 December.”
Calls to consider stronger incentives for vaccination have increased in recent weeks as outbreaks in Sydney and south-east Queensland have worsened.
“By October, we should have plenty of supply, so everyone who wants the vaccine should be able to get the vaccine,” health program director Dr Stephen Duckett said.
“People should be rewarded for being vaccinated and it would encourage them to speed up their vaccination appointments.”
He said the strongest reason to get vaccinated was to avoid the “lottery” of COVID-19.
“The strongest reason is to avoid a lottery and to avoid the lottery of COVID and avoid the lottery of death,” Mr Hunt said.
“The number one reason to be vaccinated is it can save your life and the life of your family and friends and so our message today is please come forward and be vaccinated at the earliest possible time.”