STATEMENT ON ONGOING FIRST NATIONS COVID CRISIS

LINDA BURNEY MP.
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2 months ago
STATEMENT ON ONGOING FIRST NATIONS COVID CRISIS
LINDA BURNEY MP
On vaccination rates in First Nations communities

Once again, the Morrison-Joyce Government is keen to pat itself on the back for a job not done.
 
The reality from the ground and from media reports is that vaccination rates in First Nations communities are patchy and inconsistent.
 
If the Morrison-Joyce Government was so confident in its rollout it would publish localised data and identify areas of risk and priority.
 
On misinformation and vaccine hesitancy

It’s nothing more than cynical politics that the Morrison-Joyce Government is blaming First Nations communities for critically low vaccine rates.
 
Vaccine hesitancy is nothing more than a failure of the Government to firmly counter misinformation and to implement a comprehensive communication strategy with First Nations communities.
 
On lack of coordination with First Nations communities

What the Maari Ma correspondence shows, and what community leaders are telling us on the ground, is that there remains an absence of proper coordination with local trusted First Nations community organisations.

The reality is that we’re still seeing and hearing about people having difficulty isolating, for reasons such as overcrowded housing or lack of food security.

On local hospital capacity

Over 430 people infected with covid in Western and Far Western New South Wales are reportedly in ‘care in the community’.
 
There are many locals unclear about what this means and how this works – they are concerned about the ability of local hospitals and health systems to cope with an increase in cases.
 
The Government needs to clearly outline what the plan is when local hospital capacities are overwhelmed.
 
On when the crisis moves beyond Western New South Wales
 
We are now starting to see COVID spread beyond the Far West of New South Wales: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lismore/covid19-warning-for-casino-and-for-muli-mulis-aboriginal-community/news-story/648c38fa11a2db2dec167981d37885c1
 
The Morrison-Joyce Government’s failure to rollout the vaccine in First Nations communities, and its failure to have a nationally consistent plan ready, has made many communities around the country anxious for if or when COVID spreads to them. 
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