Rogue MP slammed over 'disgraceful' anti-lockdown comments

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·News Reporter
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George Christensen has been criticised for telling parliament masks and lockdowns do not work, calling for “the madness to end”.

The Liberal-National Party MP took the floor on Tuesday afternoon with his claims.

“Will the madness end? How many more freedoms will we lose due to fear of a virus, which has a survivability rate of 997 out of 1000,’’ Mr Christensen said.

“It’s time we stopped spreading fear and acknowledge some facts.

“Masks do not work. Fact. It has been proven that masks make no significant difference in stopping the spread of Covid-19.

“Lockdowns don’t work. Fact. Lockdowns don’t destroy the virus but they do destroy people’s livelihoods and people’s lives. Studies have shown they can even increase mortality rates.”

Mr Christensen posted a message on Facebook reiterating his claims afterwards.

The Member for Dawson George Christensen delivers a 90 second statement ahead of House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra.
George Christensen told the House of Representatives lockdowns and masks do not work, much to the anger and frustration of many people. Source: AAP

Albanese slams 'dangerous' and 'unproven' claims

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese slammed Mr Christensen’s remarks as a “disgrace” following the deaths of four people from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

Mr Albanese accused the Member for Dawson of touting “unproven” and “dangerous” remedies for coronavirus “completely contradictory to the scientific advice and the advice of our health professionals”.

Mr Christensen controversially appeared at an anti-lockdown rally in Mackay last month which was attended by QAnon members and conspiracy theorists.

He has also championed a push to prevent vaccine passports, which he has called “wrong” and “discriminatory”, and promoted hydroxychloroquine which is not an approved treatment for coronavirus.

The Labor Leader added scientists and front-line workers including medical staff are “the heroes” of the pandemic.

“This house condemns the comments of the member for Dawson prior to Question Time designed to use our national parliament to spread misinformation and undermine the actions of Australians to defeat Covid,” Mr Albanese said.

“The house calls on all members to refrain from making ill informed comments at a time when the pandemic represents a serious threat to the health of Australians.”

A pharmacy worker assists a customer outside a store on High Street in Penrith in Sydney, Australia.
A woman speaks with a pharmacy worker in Penrith during lockdown. Source: Getty Images

Scott Morrison gave an indirect rebuke to Mr Christensen but didn't name the rogue MP during a 15-minute speech.

"My government doesn't support misinformation in any shape or form," he said.

Mr Morrison said he did not support such statements being made in parliament, posted on social media or being written in articles.

He pointed to the government's track record of following medical advice throughout the pandemic.

Earlier in the year, independent MP Craig Kelly left the Liberals to sit on the cross bench after controversy over his fervent promotion of unproven virus treatments.

Staff and patients arrive for the first morning of a pop-up, walk-in, AstraZeneca vaccination clinic at Al Amanah College in Lakemba.
Staff and patients at a walk-in AstraZeneca clinic in Lakemba. Source: Getty Images

Queensland government senators Matt Canavan and Gerard Rennick have been critical of lockdowns.

Mr Morrison insists heavy restrictions are crucial to stopping the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus which is spreading in his home city.

"I say to my fellow Sydneysiders, it's important we stay home. It's important we make this lockdown work. It's important that we don't give up on it," he told reporters.

Mr Christensen plans to retire from politics at the next federal election.

Christensen's 'whacko views' slammed

On Twitter, people were not particularly impressed with his speech.

One man referred to him as a “posturing politician”.

“This nonsense is dangerous to Australia's fight against Covid and disrespectful to those who have lost their lives,” another man tweeted.

Others called his speech “hard to fathom” and “dumb”.

NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean told the ABC Mr Christensen holds “whacko views”.

“I think that he is as qualified to talk about health policy as he is to perform brain surgery and I think George Christensen would do us all a favour by being a team player, supporting the prime minister and making sure that we can all get out of this crisis on the other side,” Mr Kean said.

with AAP

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