Anglicare Australia has laid out a plan to get Australia through the Omicron outbreak, and plan for new Covid variants.
Executive Director Kasy Chambers is calling on the Federal Government to show urgent leadership and adopt the plan.
“Australia was not ready for the Omicron crisis. At the worst point in the pandemic, people were forced to manage with almost no support.
“This summer has shown that we cannot simply rely on the private sector and market forces to deal with the pandemic. We cannot ‘push through’ and hope for a return to normality. We need to help people the current outbreak, and plan for the next one.
“We must return to free testing for everyone who needs it. That will help slow the outbreaks in workplaces and keep people at work.
“Charities and community services also need free tests, and a Covid support package, to stay open for the people who depend on them.
“And with the virus tearing through essential industries, we need a national approach to keeping workers on the frontline.
“Most importantly, we need to learn the lessons of past outbreaks to get ready for new ones. That means raising the rate of income payments so that people can manage any crisis that comes their way.
“It means having a plan to keep our frontline workers safe. And it means being able to step people into essential roles like aged care, disability, and food supply.
“Anglicare Australia has laid out plans for all of these vital areas, and more. We are calling on the Federal Government to work with us and keep all Australians safe during this crisis – and the next one.”
Anglicare Australia has submitted a pandemic plan to the Select Committee on Covid-19, 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.