This week, the NSW Government appeared to blame residents of Western and South-West Sydney for the continued spread of the virus.
Instead of blaming essential workers and struggling communities, the NSW Government must step up and implement policy solutions that will help people stay home and stop the spread, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT says.
The government must introduce a “test and isolate” payment for workers who need to isolate while waiting for a COVID test result. Such schemes are operational in Victoria and the ACT. Having this payment scheme in place would reduce the risk of COVID transmission in workplaces.
We need increased rental and mortgage assistance for tenants and homeowners in households where workers have been stood down or had their hours reduced.
Banks should be barred from repossessing primary residences of anyone affected by the pandemic for the duration and immediate aftermath of this lockdown, and energy providers prohibited from cutting off utilities.
The government must commit to extending its eviction ban for tenants who have lost income due to COVID-19 beyond its scheduled end date of 11 September.
Read more on our 8-point plan to support workers and their communities: https://www.amwu.org.au/8_steps_to_protect_nsw_essential_workers
Quotes attributable to Robyn Fortescue – Acting State Secretary - AMWU NSW & ACT
“The government can’t shift the blame for the spread of the virus onto communities. Residents are trying to do the right thing, but they’re not being supported.”
“An easily accessible ‘test and isolate’ payment would help stop the spread of Covid-19. No worker should be forced to choose between losing income and potentially putting others at risk.”
“We need a government response focused on clear public health messaging. Instead, we’ve got confusing restrictions and more police on the streets targeting minority communities that don’t have good relationships with law enforcement.”
Media contact – Sophia Morris – 0400 889 166 or [email protected]