Anglicare Australia has laid out a pandemic recovery plan to help people on the lowest incomes, and the community organisations who support them.
Executive Director Kasy Chambers is calling on the Federal Government to show urgent leadership and adopt the plan.
“At the worst point in the Covid crisis, Australians are managing the pandemic with almost no support.
“Until just weeks ago, Covid testing was free. Now the cost of testing and diagnosing the virus has been offloaded onto average Australians.
“Support for people out of work has dried up, programs to keep people sleeping rough safe have ended, and frontline services are struggling to stay open and serve people in need.
“All of this is happening as the pandemic is at its most dangerous point. People on the lowest incomes are the ones paying the price, and charities are picking up the pieces.
“It shouldn’t be up to everyone else to manage the pandemic. It’s time for the Government to step up and govern.
“We must return to free testing for everyone who needs it. That will help slow the outbreaks in workplaces and keep people at work.
“Community services, like emergency and food relief charities, also need free tests to stay open for the people who rely on them.
“And for the people hardest hit, Government income payments must be raised above the poverty line and mutual obligations suspended.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to work with us and keep all Australians safe during this crisis.”
As part of its submission to the 2022-23 Federal Budget, Anglicare Australia is calling for:
- Free, universal Rapid Antigen Tests for all Australians
- A COVID support package for the community sector
- A national approach to keep essential workers in frontline service sectors at work safely
- Urgent help to keep older Australians safe in aged care.