NT News

CLP wants Heggie in jab briefing

- THOMAS MORGAN

THE Opposition pulled out of a briefing with Health Department officials on Friday afternoon, which would’ve guided the party’s stance on mandating vaccinatio­ns for key frontline workers.

Opposition health spokesman Bill Yan said the decision was made because Health Minister Natasha Fyles “confirmed she won’t allow the (chief health officer Dr Hugh Heggie), or his deputy, to brief us and has cancelled the department­al briefing”. “We welcome notificati­on of when we can be briefed by Dr Heggie, or his deputy,” Mr Yan said.

THE Opposition pulled out of a briefing with Health Department officials on Friday afternoon, which would’ve guided the party’s stance on mandating vaccinatio­ns for key frontline workers.

It comes as Labor Senator Malarndirr­i McCarthy and the Electrical Trades Union both condemned Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s rhetoric toward those who don’t agree with mandatory vaccinatio­n.

Opposition health spokesman Bill Yan said the decision was made because Health Minister Natasha Fyles “confirmed she won’t allow the (chief health officer Dr Hugh Heggie), or his deputy, to brief us and has cancelled the department­al briefing”.

“We welcome notificati­on of when we can be briefed by Dr Heggie, or his deputy,” Mr Yan said.

“We won’t be pressured into a position – without receiving the best health advice – by this hysterical Chief Minister who labels anyone who doesn’t agree with Labor’s policy position an anti-vaxxer.”

It was instead to be held by NT Health chief executive Frank Daly.

Mr Gunner said the snub was “officially embarrassi­ng” and that the CLP gave just two hours notice of the cancellati­on.

The Chief Minister’s office said the briefing would be reschedule­d.

Mr Gunner previously labelled the Opposition “antivaxxer”.

However, the CLP has hit back denying that it is antivaccin­ation, saying the party wanted a briefing with Dr Heggie before committing to a position.

Senator McCarthy, who copped a serve from the Chief Minister on Thursday night, also hit back on Friday and called Mr Gunner’s actions an “unfortunat­e distractio­n”.

“Michael Gunner had my statement yesterday morning, at the same time it was sent to media,” she said.

“It makes my position clear.

“It’s there in black and white.”

The Electrical Trades Union state secretary Peter Ong also hit out at Mr Gunner. “The Chief Minister needs to point fingers at the Morrison government for the botched vaccine rollout,” Mr Ong said.

 ?? ?? Bill Yan.
Bill Yan.

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