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Thursday, 26 August 2021
Page: 2

Mr TUDGE (AstonMinister for Education and Youth) (09:40): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill ensures the government can continue to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. These vaccines will provide protection to Australians, reducing the risk of severe disease and hospitalisation from COVID-19.

This bill also ensures the government can invest in viable treatments for COVID-19, providing further protection for Australians against COVID-19.

Finally, this bill allows for the purchase of consumables necessary for the delivery of these vital vaccines and treatments.

The cabinet will retain its role in the consideration and decision of COVID-19 vaccine, consumables and treatment purchases.

This bill confers a spending power on the minister for health to enter into arrangements and make payments to ensure Australia can secure COVID-19 vaccines and other related goods.

Following a cabinet decision to purchase a relevant item, the minister for health will exercise the spending power under the new provision.

This ensures that payments can be made in a timely manner upon execution of advance purchase agreements with vaccine and treatment manufacturers.

The amendment provision is time limited and will sunset on 30 June 2022.

Debate adjourned.