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Two too many: second First Nations person dies from COVID-19

Media Release
Lidia Thorpe 9 Sep 2021


The second First Nations person to die from COVID-19 has passed away in Dubbo Hospital, this comes after an Aboriginal man in his 50’s died from COVID-19 on August 30.

Comment from Senator Lidia Thorpe, Australian Greens First Nations Spokesperson
“First Nations people have the right to live their lives without the negligent and incompetent Morrison government exposing them to disease,” said DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara Senator for Victoria Lidia Thorpe.

“Our communities are in mourning. These deaths are completely preventable tragedies. The Maari Ma Aboriginal Health Corporation warned the Morrison government 18 months ago about the consequences of COVID-19 in western New South Wales. 

“They came with solutions, they came with strategies on how to prevent and contain an outbreak of the disease. They were ignored. No tangible plan was put in place to protect First Nations people in western NSW.

“The pandemic has thrown a spotlight on decades of failed government policies that have left First Nations people in poverty, in overcrowded housing and without access to a properly resourced healthcare sector. Our people are quarantining in tents and washing clothes in creeks, while Scott Morrison can fly himself to Sydney for Fathers Day.

“The Morrison government needs to close the gap between non-Indigenous and First Nations vaccination rates. Our children need to be included in vaccination targets. Failing to do this will put First Nations people in danger.

Comment from Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:
"Scott Morrison's failure to get First Nations communities vaccinated is an indictment on his leadership through the pandemic.

"First Nations communities have been warning about the potentially disastrous implications of inaction throughout the pandemic. Their calls for a plan have fallen on deaf ears.

"When they needed leadership most, Scott Morrison was nowhere to be seen. If the primary goal of any government is to keep its people safe, Scott Morrison has failed.

"Communities have been torn apart by preventable deaths, and that should weigh heavily on Scott Morrison's conscience." 

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