Federal government accused of failing the nation over AstraZeneca vaccine on Q+A as Martin Iles defends Israel Folau

The Australian government has been accused on Q+A of “failing at the first hurdle” when it comes to the nation’s vaccine rollout and problems with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The show aired on Thursday night following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference where he and his team announced the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has a possible link to rare blood clots in a very small number of recipients, would no longer be given to Australians under the age of 50.

Instead, they will be given the Pfizer vaccine, meaning Australia’s already behind-schedule vaccine rollout threatened to slow further.

On Q+A, multiple panellists criticised Mr Morrison for “backing the wrong horse” and not taking a wider approach to acquiring more different vaccines such as those from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

“Australians really set the global standard in looking after one another, locking down in a way that reduced our COVID numbers, and our reward for that was meant to be that we would be able to get back on track and for us to maybe get the jump-start on other countries,” said federal Labor MP Anika Wells, from Queensland.

“It comes down to, I think, the Prime Minister’s judgement about the vaccines that he chose, the numbers of those doses and why.


“When the UK, the US, chose other pathways like Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.”

Asked by host Hamish Macdonald if she was saying the Australian government had “backed the wrong horse”, she responded in the affirmative.

“We’ve been saying since last year, we need more horses in the race. We need five or six different vaccines.”

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman refuted the claim Australia did not have enough vaccine options and said the government had invested in five.

But Indigenous lawyer Teela Reid also said the government had failed and accused them of being incompetent before also saying they had really failed First Nations people.

“I think the country needs options available to be vaccinated,” Ms Reid said.

“It has been absolutely the people who have come together and kept us safe, locked down and done the right thing — and I just think that, you know, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the majority of us are under 50.

“I think that it’s just been completely reckless and unacceptable in a developed country that we are here now and we’re still waiting for the option to be vaccinated.”

While Ms Reid and Ms Wells took the Prime Minister to task over the rollout, other panellists, journalist Antoinette Lattouf and Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Martyn Iles, felt the slow rollout was a blessing in disguise when it came to not too many Australians receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Ms Lattouf said this was a good problem to have while Mr Iles said the pivot in the vaccine strategy was not a massive problem before calling on people to leave people who have vaccine hesitancy alone.

“We don’t need to manufacture a crisis over the vaccine when we just don’t have one, ” Mr Iles said.

“It’s turning out that there’s some benefits of watching the rest of the world go just a little bit ahead of us.

“There are people in the community who have vaccine hesitancy and feel as though they, in good conscience, can’t take the vaccine.

“I actually want to go in to bat for them, I think we can respect someone’s conscience and achieve public health outcomes possibly at the same time.

“Everyone who wants it should get it [but] there’ll be some people who don’t want it, I reckon leave them alone, because the protection of conscience matters.”

‘Melanin count doesn’t change my access to truth’

Issues of gender bias in the halls of Parliament have been front and centre of late and one issue that has been raised is quotas.


Most of the Q+A panel was for the possible introduction of them except for Mr Iles, who drew scorn for, as he put it, being “the stereotypical white guy”.

“Quotas say a couple of things,” Mr Iles said.

“Some of them might be good, but some of them I’m concerned about.

“One of the things it says is that a parliament that is majority man or majority women, or majority one race or another cannot govern in the common interest, cannot govern for the common good, cannot actually seek after what is right and true.

“The melanin count in my skin doesn’t change my access to truth, it doesn’t change my ability to do good.”

It was then that Ms Lattouf immediately called him out.

“But it changes your lived experience,” she said.

“It changes your lens, it changes where you are in terms of privilege.

“It doesn’t mean that you can’t have empathy, it doesn’t mean that you’re not clever and good at your job but you don’t have skin in the game when it comes to women’s issues, when it comes to Indigenous issues.

Regardless of quotas, Ms Reid said they were not the major issue and said other issues should first be examined.

“If you look at the experience of some women at the top, take for example Julia Gillard, that was a horrendous experience to witness as a young woman, but also I can’t even imagine what she’s experienced, and that’s looking at a white woman,” she said.

“I wouldn’t even want to know what a black woman experiences in those contexts.”

Iles defends ACL support of Folau

Mr Iles, who has long been a staunch supporter of former rugby league and union star Israel Folau, featured prominently throughout the show.

In 2019, Mr Iles stood side-by-side with Folau and even helped launch a fund to support the then-rugby star in his legal battle with Rugby Australia after fundraising site GoFundMe pulled down his page asking for financial help for the fight.

Rugby Australia said they had sacked Folau for breaching their social media code of conduct for religious posts he made which also preached homophobic views, before the sides eventually settled.

This week, the Australian Christian Lobby spent a large sum of money on an advertisement in The Daily Telegraph to pressure the NRL into allowing Folau to return to rugby league.

Mr Iles was asked to defend that use of money and his relationship with Folau and the ongoing support he is receiving from the ACL.

Mr Iles began by saying Folau had been misrepresented in the media.


“The media have repeatedly said that Israel condemned homosexuals to hell, that is not the overall point of the post that he made.

“What he said was that sinners are destined for judgement, and yes, Christians understand that as hell … but then he turned to the other side of the coin and he said, ‘and forgiveness awaits to all who repent and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ’.

“He said all of that in his post. Either you believe both sides of that coin — in which case, you are free, you have condemnation and salvation, you have judgement and release, you have repentance, you have faith — or you believe neither side.

Mr Iles rejected a comment by Ms Latouff that Folau had spread hate, saying that was not his motive.

But Mr Zimmerman, who in 2015 became Australia’s first openly gay MP, said that was in his view not the case with Folau.

“I’m not a religious person, but I was brought up in a religious family in the Uniting Church. It may not have been about hate, but it was certainly about love.

Mr Iles then went on to take aim at Rugby Australia and accused them of lying during the 2019 battle with Folau.

“He did not break a contract or a clause, if he did, it would have been relied upon by the tribunal that disciplined him.

“It wasn’t relied on because it didn’t exist.

“That’s a lie that was put out, I believe, by Rugby Australia to try and ruin his reputation.”

Watch the full episode of Q+A on iview.

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MotoGP 2021 news: Doha Grand Prix, qualifying results, pole position, Jack Miller, near miss, scary moment, save, Jorge Martin

Aussie Jack Miller has been hailed the “hero” of the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix qualifying after surviving what a rival described “the scariest moment I’ve ever seen.”

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was behind Miller in the final stages of Q2 when the Australian had what he described as a “massive moment.”

It was not caught on camera but Quartararo was shocked.

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Rookie Martin claims pole, Miller fourth


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How will Sydney look to stop Dustin Martin?

How will Sydney approach the Dustin Martin challenge this weekend?

It’s one of the key questions heading into the Easter round of football, with the Swans’ clash against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday looming as one of the highlights of Round 3.

Longmire outlined just how tough it is to curtail the Richmond star, conceding that he’s likely to have a significant impact on the game regardless of the plan that’s put in place to curtail him.

“You try and tag (Dustin Martin) and then he goes forward and pulls you out of shape and then he comes back into the midfield,” he said on Sportsday.

“You might get your perfect match up in one area of the ground, but you might not get the perfect match up in the other end of the ground.

“You can spend hours and hours debating what you do and the reality is he’s a very high quality player and you try and get it as good as can knowing that he’s still going to have a pretty good day.

“You’re not going to get everything perfectly.”

Coaching great Leigh Matthews flagged Dane Rampe as one likely matchup, but urged Longmire to look at someone other than Callum Mills if the side do decide to deploy a hard tag.

“Dane Rampe is the obvious match up,” he said.

“But with Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt, they already have problems. At the moment (Martin is) getting the third defender.

“I still think (John Longmire) would be trying to find someone other than Callum Mills if he opts to go for a hard tag.”

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Carlton Blues buoyed by Jack Silvagni prognosis as Jack Martin returns to face Collingwod Magpies

Carlton forward Jack Silvagni has been buoyed by his shoulder diagnosis while Jack Martin is set to return to the line up for Thursday night’s clash against Collingwood at the MCG.

Silvagni was the first medical substitute of the season when he left the field with a shoulder subluxation in the second quarter of the 25-point loss to Richmond on Thursday.

There were initial fears he would miss several weeks, even require surgery on the same shoulder he hurt in 2015, but he trained on Monday.

Jack Silvagni’s shoulder complaint isn’t as bad as the Blues initially feared. Credit:Getty Images

The Blues’ director of high performance, Andrew Russell said that Silvagni may only miss a match and be available for the round three clash against Fremantle.

“He was pretty sore at the time, he definitely couldn’t continue the game. He settled down better than we thought he would at the time, which is great,” he said. “But we think that he’ll probably miss this week.”

Silvagni’s 2020 campaign was marred by knee and rib injuries, which restricted him to three matches, so it was some relief that the prognosis for his shoulder was far better than expected.

Martin had a calf issue which limited his training in the lead up to the Tigers’ clash and the Blues opted to rest the dynamic forward.

The former Gold Coast Sun trained fully on Monday and Russell said he looked “great”. Martin will add greater potency up forward and through the midfield with his class and pressure against the Magpies, who were also winless in round one and are desperately trying to find a way to kick more goals.

Mitch McGovern has recovered from a hamstring strain but it was back stiffness which prevented his selection last week. He also trained well on Monday and impressed the medical staff with his sprinting but will be given another week off.

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Dustin Martin unbelievable as Richmond Tigers topple Carlton Blues at the MCG

For all that had changed in the world since footy fans last attended a game at the MCG, two truths still stood up by 10.15pm on Thursday night: Carlton still can’t beat Richmond, and Dustin Martin is still incomparable.

Dustin Martin was incredible as ever as the Tigers beat Carlton in the AFL season opener.Credit:Eddie Jim

The Blues huffed and puffed and threatened to blow the Tigers’ house down, but Richmond – as they almost always have over the past four years – showed their fortress is made of very sturdy brick. Several times throughout the night Carlton looked half a chance of kicking away, but they never did. Instead, they kicked themselves out of the game, with their 2.6 in the third term proving costly as Richmond steadied to record their 11th straight win over the Blues.

Martin’s status as a Tiger immortal is already secure and this showing only enhanced his already ridiculously high reputation. The three-time Norm Smith Medallist won a heap of the ball but it was a handful of small yet telling contributions that turned the game.

There was a trade-mark fend-off goal during the second term, an ingenious tap to the advantage of Jake Aarts which set up a Jack Riewoldt goal in the third quarter, a strong mark and goal early in the last, and then another involvement to set up a second goal for Aarts after Carlton closed to within a goal deep into the final term.

Still, he wasn’t done, leading the Blues on a merry dance to dish off to Shai Bolton who put icing on the cake in the dying minutes and then taking another incredible mark after that. Back able to shout en masse in person, the Tiger Army roared “Dusty, Dusty.”

Sam Walsh was outstanding for the Blues but Richmond won more of the key moments, with a desperate Jayden Short effort to stop a Harry McKay goal in the third term among the most important.

Sub-liminal messaging

There was enormous intrigue as to how the new medical substitute rule – implemented at the 11th hour – would play out. Things changed further on game day when the Tigers lost captain Trent Cotchin to injury, replaced in the 22 by Marlion Pickett, which led to Jack Ross being named as the designated 23rd man. It was former Melbourne defender Oscar McDonald however who made history, replacing the injured Jack Silvagni (shoulder) at half-time.

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Former soldier charged with murder over killing of bikie boss Nick Martin

Magistrate Woods also granted a prosecution application for court proceedings to be closed from here on, with only media allowed to attend future hearings.

The accused sat quietly in the dock between two police officers during his brief hearing but was not required to speak.

At times he glanced at the media in the public gallery.

His lawyer David Manera said he was engaged in the matter on Monday night following the man’s arrest at his house in Perth’s southern suburbs.

“We had five minutes together,” he said.

“I suspect it’s for his own safety [that this morning’s hearing was held in a special court].


Homicide detectives, who had been interviewing the man since his arrest on Monday night, were present in court for the first appearance.

The man, who will be remanded in custody until his next appearance on April 28, was escorted from court in a police van — with police blocking off streets to allow for the exit.

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Major police operation south of Perth believed to be in connection with public shooting of Nick Martin

A major police operation is under way in Waikiki, south of Perth.

Part of Shoalhaven Place has been blocked off since early Monday morning, with the operation believed to be part of the investigation into the public shooting of Perth bikie boss Nick Martin.

Three months after his killing, police searched a property and a boat parked out the front, Nine News Perth said.

Nearby off Safety Bay Road police were searching bushland too.

It is understood police are speaking with a man in connection with the searches.

About 400 mourners gathered in December to farewell Mr Martin, who was fatally shot by a suspected sniper in front of onlookers, including children, at the Perth Motorplex on December 12.

Mr Martin was watching the Outlaw Nitro Challenge at the Kwinana venue with his wife and stepdaughter when he was struck about 8.40pm.

Slain Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin is laid to rest at Pinnaroo cemetery.

The partner of Mr Martin’s stepdaughter, former Bandidos bikie Ricky Chapman, was hit in the arm by the bullet. A five-year-old who was sitting on Mr Martin’s wife’s lap was also injured but did not need medical attention.

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F1 news 2021, Aston Martin new car launch, James Bond, Tom Brady, Sebastian Vettel, pictures, video

Sebastian Vettel said he believes he can win another Formula One world title as his new Aston Martin team unveiled their car on Wednesday ahead of a return to the grid.

Vettel, a four-time world champion for Red Bull, endured a miserable end to his six campaigns with Ferrari, finishing 13th in the 2020 standings.

The 33-year-old German is ready to move on to the next chapter of his career with Aston Martin – the historic British name returning to Formula One for the first time since 1960.

“It is not a secret that last year I wasn’t at my happiest,” Vettel said at Aston Martin’s launch, where the rebranded Racing Point team revealed its British racing green livery.

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Carlton Blues’ Jack Martin says he’s grateful for his position at the club despite taking a ‘massive hit’ to his contract


Martin was therefore disproportionately affected, losing in the vicinity of $300,000 last year. While the AFL and players’ association initiated a special fund for players like Martin, whose 2020 salary was substantially above their annual salary, Martin confirmed he had still been a significant financial loser from COVID-19.

But the talented forward/midfielder, 26, said he was not overly stressed about money and was comfortable with how the situation ended.

“Been in discussions with my manager and the PA, and the AFL. That’s all been taken care of, we’re pretty happy,” Martin said.

“I’m pretty grateful for what I have, to be honest. I have taken a massive hit but I’m just grateful for what I’ve got.”

What is driving West Australian Martin, instead, is a desire to play an AFL final, something he has never done and something the Blues haven’t done since 2013, the year before he entered the league.


“I’m desperate. And I think everyone is. Obviously Blues haven’t played finals for a long time. Obviously that’s what we play footy for but we know it’s a long season and it’s going to take hard work. We’re willing to do that. We’re just looking forward to the challenge to be honest.

“We were in a lot of games up until the last quarter. I think we’ll get a massive experience out of those games, definitely learn a lot.”

On the personal front, Martin – who finished sixth in Carlton’s 2020 best and fairest – said his form had tailed off towards the back-end of the season, in part because of fitness concerns, which he said he had put behind him.

“Individually I thought I started the year pretty well and sort of dropped away. It’s just about consistency this year for me,” Martin said.

New Blue Zac Williams.Credit:Getty Images

“I think my body last year at times just wasn’t allowing me to train at a high intensity. Just more of a focus about getting out on the track every week, being able to train, back it up. I think that’s the main focus this year.

“I’m 100 per cent at the moment. I’ll be good to go once the games come around.”

Martin is keen to push more into the midfield this year, looking at a 50-50 split along with former Giants defender Williams, who will have a different role at Carlton.


“It’d probably be 50-50, depending on how the game’s going,” he said. “He’ll go forward, I’ll go midfield. We’re just building that little combination I guess.”

Martin said he had actually benefited from Cartlon’s extended stay in a Queensland hub last year, which allowed him to get to know his new teammates better. But he can’t wait to play in front of big crowds at the MCG, a lure to join the Blues and something he was denied last year because of the pandemic.

Martin nominated key forward Harry McKay and emerging midfield star Sam Walsh as two of the big pre-season improvers for the Blues.

“He looks fitter, stronger,” Martin said of McKay, while adding that he expected Walsh to go to another level.

The Indigenous Martin also touched on the fallout of the recent independent report into racism at Collingwood.

“I’m not too political on this one. But it affects me, it affects everyone. We need to move together, forward as one. The day we can do that, is the day we’ll move forward as Australia I think,” he said.

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Dustin Martin, Sydney Swans, Lance Franklin contract news, report

A sly comment from Dustin Martin’s manager has opened the door to a bombshell move to Sydney as Lance Franklin’s replacement at the Swans.

The incendiary comments from Martin’s agent Ralph Carr has sent a shockwave through the competition less than four weeks before the opening round of the season.

Carr has told The Daily Telegraph Martin “loves” Sydney and wants to play for up to another nine seasons in the AFL.

The report claims Martin is attracted by a potential long term contract in Sydney, similar to the nine-year, $10 million deal Franklin signed when making his dramatic departure from Hawthorn.

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The stars could align for Martin to replace Franklin, with both players off-contract at the end of the 2022 season. Franklin, 34, has an uncertain future beyond his current contract. He has not played an AFL game since August 2019 as a result of injuries. His departure or retirement would leave the Swans with a war chest of salary cap space to tempt Martin away from the Tigers. It is purely speculation at this point.

Carr has not directly addressed the link with the Swans, but his comments about the three-time Norm Smith medallist’s fondness for Sydney will raise eyebrows.

“Dusty loves Sydney,” Carr said.

RELATED: Dustin Martin and Cameron Munster were scallywags sport needed in 2020

“He’s there a lot and he originally lived in Camden with his dad. You’ve got to live there to really know how good it is.

“He loves rugby league, too, and he was hanging out with Cameron Munster the other day.”

Martin was also spotted sitting ringside with Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton during Tim Tszyu’s knockout of Bowyn Morgan at Bankwest Stadium in December.

Carr said Martin, 29, wants to be the Tom Brady of Aussie rules and is capable of playing until the age of 38.

He is showing no signs of slipping from his status as the biggest star in Australian football.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says Martin has had an “incredible” pre-season and is ready to take another step forward in 2021.

“I’m worried he’s too far ahead. He’s training that well at the moment. He’s been incredible,” Hardwick told AFL.com.au.

“He’s one of these guys who surprises me every year, Dustin. You generally think of the superstars of the competition that they come in and they do what they do, but there’s a reason they’re superstars.

“They generally work harder and are better at things that other players aren’t, and he tries to improve one part of his game every year. This year I think he’s taken on some noticeable improvement in his fitness. He’s trying to improve that part of his game and he’s training really, really well at the moment.

“I couldn’t be happier with where he’s at. Like I said, I’m worried he’s too far ahead of the game. I’ve got to slow him down a little bit because he’s his own worst enemy with how he works.”

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