Media Releases


August 25, 2021

First Nations communities impacted by covid have been left behind by the Morrison-Joyce Government. 

First Nations vaccination rates critically low

As the covid situation in Western New South Wales continues to deteriorate, First Nations communities remain sitting ducks after the Morrison-Joyce Government left them with critically low vaccination rates.  

Western New South Wales recorded 49 new cases overnight, including 35 in Dubbo, seven in Bourke, six in Wilcannia, five in Orange, one in Broken Hill, one in Narromine and one in Walgett.

This brings the total number of cases in Western New South Wales to 369, including 294 in Dubbo. 

And 17,000 people are in isolation in Shepparton, Victoria. 

Prime Minister talks about opening up while First Nations vaccine rates lag behind 

The Prime Minister said that First Nations vaccines would be a priority, yet the reality is that First Nations vaccination rates remain critically low. 

First Nations vaccine rates lag severely behind the rest of the nation. 

The Prime Minister needs to outline very clearly what this means for First Nations people, some of the most vulnerable to covid. 

Last week, Labor outlined the need for a nationally consistent plan to address the unfolding First Nations covid crisis. 

This includes bolstering local vaccination resources, and releasing localised data on vaccination rates and supply to identify areas of risk and need.

What is the plan for hospitals and treatment?

In Dubbo, 15 people are in hospital, five are in intensive care, and two require ventilators. 

This is a region where households live long distances from townships and health services with limited private transport, which presents a major logistical challenge. 

How long before Dubbo can’t cope with incoming cases and what’s the Prime Minister’s plan for when that happens?

Labor identified as part of a nationally consistent plan, the need to clearly outline plans for treatment in the event that we see a surge of cases in local hospitals. 

We need a national plan 

Medical experts say it is just a matter of time before covid spreads to other First Nations communities. 

Why won’t the Morrison-Joyce Government adopt a nationally consistent plan to address the First Nations covid crisis?