Sunrise host David Koch has fired up in an interview with Qantas boss Alan Joyce about Australia’s vaccine rollout.
The presenter hit out at Mr Joyce’s commentary that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout “was not a race”, slamming it as “bulldust”.
“Nat (Natalie Barr) took on the Health Minister on Friday magnificently, and then even over the weekend, Michael McCormack, Dan Tehan the Trade Minister, all speaking this is not a race, bulldust, it is a race, isn’t it?” Koch said on Monday morning.
Mr Joyce responded, saying Qantas had a “vested interest” in the country’s vaccine rollout.
“We want to do everything that we can to ensure the borders domestically open and stay open and that we get international up and running,” he said.
“We have 6000 of our people stood down that are working on international flights, and they will be stood down until we have the international borders reopened.
“If this was a flight, we’ve done a fantastic job of managing the takeoff … there’s been a bit of turbulence on the way through, now were are coming in for the landing, and getting the covid vaccine rolled out is part of the landing, and getting that right will be very key so we can have the certainty for everybody in the country.”
The heated debate followed earlier discussion about Qantas introducing 1000 bonus frequent flyer points for passengers who have received both jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Mr Joyce said the incentives could be offered as early as July.
“We are also looking at having 10 mega prizes, one at least for each state and territory, where a family of four can get unlimited free travel for a year in 2022 on the Qantas and Jetstar networks,” he said.
“In addition to that, the Acccor group has come on-board, and they’re offering up to one million Accor points, which gives free accommodation across 400 hotel zone resorts across the country.
“We are very big on encouragement for people to get out there and get the vaccine.”
Mr Joyce said the offer would be through the Qantas app, with anyone who had both jabs in the time leading up to July and who becomes completely inoculated towards the end of the year eligible.
Scott Morrison said in January he wanted four million Australians vaccinated by the end of March.
The Prime Minister delayed the deadline before canning national vaccine targets in April after AstraZeneca was no longer recommended for people aged under 50.
It’s now the target that all Aussies are vaccinated by Christmas this year.