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Coronavirus Pandemic

Disability community urges Australian government to provide sector with critical support

Woman with N95 face mask on

Unions, workers, service providers and persons with disabilities will be in Canberra today to meet with MPs and call for the Australian Government to provide the disability sector with much needed support to deal with critical shortages of staff, PPE and RATs.

The ACTU has written a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for much needed financial assistance and for him to meet with stakeholders to discuss a fit-for-purpose plan of action.

The disability sector is one of the few sectors that the Federal Government has acknowledged responsibility for, yet they have failed to provide Australians living with disabilities, and those who care for them, the essential items like RATs and PPE that are needed to keep them safe.

The failure of the Morrison Government to ensure there is an effective workforce plan to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks and support and manage increasing staff isolations has contributed to this crisis and needs to be addressed.

Unions had also warned the Morrison Government that the National Plan would put already vulnerable Australians at an even higher risk; especially as they had failed to secure critical tools which would’ve helped combat the spread such as RATs and PPE and ensure there was a workforce plan.

“Just liked the aged care sector, those working in disability care are tasked with caring for some of our most vulnerable Australians. Neither their needs, nor the needs of their clients, have been taking into consideration by this Government.” said ACTU President Michele O’Neil.

“Disability workers are falling ill at an alarming rate and workplaces are becoming unsafe and essential services and being compromised. The Morrison Government must address this workforce crisis and provide immediate support to the disability sector.”

“The Morrison Government has failed people with disability and the people who care for them on the acquisition and provision of vaccines, PPE and RATs. They need to hear from, and work with, those affected by their failures in disability care to come up with a plan which protects everyone in the system.”

“The Morrison Government needs to act now to protect further harm and loss of life in the disability sector. As many different groups have over the course of the pandemic we are trying to warn this Government before it is too late. We hope they will listen this time.”

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