LACK OF AFFORDABLE BASICS IN  REMOTE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES UNDERMINES COVID-19 RESPONSE

April 21, 2020

First Nations Australians in some remote communities are unable to access affordable basic goods and essential items, forcing them to make impossible choices between self-isolating and feeding their families.  
 
First Nations Australians are particularly vulnerable to serious infection from COVID-19 due to higher rates of chronic illness.
 
This threat is more grave for those living in remote communities. Geography presents a barrier to the availability of personal protection equipment and testing.
 
Lack of housing and overcrowding severely diminishes the capacity for these communities to properly self-isolate.
 
Remote communities are also facing shortages of as well as highly priced basic and essential items.
 
As we approach winter, these items will include blankets and warm clothing.
 
There are now reports that people are being forced to travel to regional centres to be able to purchase affordable basics and essentials.
 
Food insecurity and unreasonable pricing is severely undermining the public health response to COVID-19.
 
Remote Aboriginal communities should be able to access affordable basic and essential items. 
 
Labor is calling on the government to secure affordable goods for remote communities to ensure the supply chain is working, as well as begin to monitor prices in these areas.
 
Price parity was a problem in remote communities before this pandemic, and the government needs to address this beyond COVID-19.

MEDIA RELEASE:
LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR BARTON

WARREN SNOWDON
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
MEMBER FOR LINGIARI
 
SENATOR PATRICK DODSON 
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR RECONCILIATION 
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS 
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
 
SENATOR MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY
CHAIR OF LABOR FIRST NATIONS CAUCUS COMMITTEE
SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY