Australian Senate Vote To Establish Inquiry Into Excess Deaths

Thanks to the efforts of one very determined Australian senator, the Australian Senate has voted to establish a formal parliamentary inquiry into the nation’s excess deaths.

It has taken more than a year but the Senate has been given the go-ahead to what is possibly the first inquiry of this nature in the world.

The Committee is expected to provide its report by 31 August 2024.

Rebekah Barnett reports: One year and five motions is what it took for Senator Ralph Babet, of the United Australia Party, to finally get the go-ahead on the inquiry.

Senator Babet tabled two unsuccessful motions calling for an inquiry into Australia’s excess mortality last March, followed by another unsuccessful motion in February of this year.

Several weeks later, his fourth motion calling for the Senate to acknowledge the need for an inquiry scraped through with a win, marking a shift in attitude within the Senate and paving the way for today’s vote to finally establish an inquiry.

“Fifth time’s the charm!” said Senator Babet in a statement after his motion passed successfully.

“This appears to be a world-first inquiry for what is a global issue. May this committee process give a voice to the family members of the deceased and deliver the answers that our nation so desperately needs.”

The successful motion, co-sponsored by independent Senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock, calls for the Community Affairs References Committee to conduct an inquiry into factors contributing to excess mortality in 2021 – 2023 and to make recommendations on how to address them.

The vote was won 31:30 with only the left-wing Labor Party and the Greens opposing the motion (see full breakdown here).

The phenomenon of excess all-cause mortality is an issue for nations all around the world since the pandemic kicked off in 2020, yet governments have shown little interest or initiative in investigating why, or what to do about it.

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