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COVID-19 response from Disability Reform Council "appalling": Greens

Thursday 19 March, 2020

Australian Greens disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has described the COAG Disability Reform Council's (DRC) response to COVID-19 as appalling

Senator Steele-John has called on the DRC to act with more urgency, and provide more clarity about the impacts COVID-19 will have on disabled people, our families and our support networks.

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Close the Gap Day and COVID-19

COVID-19 has the potential to cause severe harm to First Nations communities particularly in regional and remote areas, older Australians, disabled people and people with mental health issues.

“Preventing and slowing the spread of the virus to First Nations communities must be a priority given that First Nations communities already suffer higher rates of chronic and respiratory illness than the general population,” Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on First Nations issues said.

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COVID-19: Government must implement comprehensive action plan for disabled people

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called on the government to implement a comprehensive action plan to ensure that everyone in the community has access to the right information and the appropriate supports to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

"Many people across our communities, especially disabled people and others who are at risk, are feeling worried and uncertain about the impacts the COVID-19 crisis could have on them and the people they love," Steele-John said.

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Death figures mean government must double intensive care beds

Adam Bandt 17 Mar 2020

Greens leader Adam Bandt MP and health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale have called on the Morrison government and national cabinet to explain what actions are being taken to double the number of intensive care units and to secure adequate number of ventilators.

Medical experts have warned that the number of intensive care beds need to at least double if we are to have a chance of managing the corona crisis. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer has flagged that Australia is facing up to 150,000 possible deaths in the worst case scenario.

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Secure supply of masks must be ensured to protect health workers.

Today’s reports of insufficient access to protective masks for front line GPs in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency is of significant concern, Greens spokesperson for Health Dr Richard Di Natale has said today.

It is essential that our health workers, in particular, those directly responding to possible Coronavirus cases within the community, have access to an ongoing, sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks.

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Senator Di Natale to quiz government on coronavirus response

Greens spokesperson for Health and public health specialist Dr Richard Di Natale will quiz senior government officials on the Australian and international response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response at Senate estimates this morning.



Dr Di Natale, who is a GP and Public Health specialist, has worked in infectious disease control and outbreak investigations.

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Speech: Coronavirus Racism

I want to acknowledge the extraordinary work of the agencies and experts around the world who are managing the response to the coronavirus outbreak. I acknowledge in particular the loved ones of those who are no longer with us, and the medical staff caring for victims deserve our thanks. Despite the hysteria and terrible consequences of the virus, both medical and social, we can and will get through this.

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Motion: Meat Free Week

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Meat Free Week, organised by Bowel Cancer Australia, runs from 23 to 29 September 2019, and challenges participants to give up meat for seven days,

(ii) intensive animal agriculture is not only cruel to animals, but is a key contributor to the climate crisis, and

(iii) reducing the amount of meat we consume is better for our health, better for animal welfare and better for the environment; and

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