Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture by Sean Davey.
Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture by Sean Davey.

Not enough scrutiny on COVID decisions: Canavan

Liberal National senator Matt Canavan has welcomed the return of repatriation flights from India, and now the critic of the controversial bans has expressed his concern over the lack of parliamentary oversight of major decisions like this.

He said he wasn't aware of how decisions like this were made and that they were sometimes made outside of formal cabinet meetings.

Senator Canavan said there was a lot to question about laws like the Biosecurity Act, which he said allowed the government to make these drastic decisions, with Victoria being the only state that required a vote on these matters.

"There's zero parliamentary scrutiny or votes of any kind," he said.

Senator Canavan welcomed the return of repatriation flights from India and described the ban as a "two-week pause" to flights coming from India and hopes the flights will restart on May 15 as planned.

"I think we should be trying to help Australians house when they're in duress," Senator Canavan said.

Repatriation flights were coming out of Wuhan when the disease first broke out, during a time when Australians didn't know very much about it's effects, but Senator Canavan said he did not see why the government could not bring back flights from India now that there was more knowledge about COVID-19.

"I welcome the news that flights will restart. It's only going to be a two week pause," he said.

His stance on India flights puts him at odds with other coalition members and he said they had just come to "different conclusions."

"The great thing about the LNP is that we do allow for individual MPs to express their different views," he said.

In response to David Littleproud's comments to former test cricketer Michael Slater calling him a "spoiled prat" for suggesting the Prime Minister should "take [his] private jet and come and witness the dead bodies", Senator Canavan said he would not buy into Mr Littleproud's comments and did not agree with Mr Slater either.

"Both represent a viewpoint that exist within the community," Senator Canavan said.

Senator Canavan rejects any accusation that the government's decision was based on racism.



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