Parliament Updates

Zali Steggall MP describes the financial and emotional toll COVID is having on the community

11 August, 2021



Sadly, today, a 30-year-old man from Belrose died, unvaccinated, at Northern Beaches Hospital, from COVID. People in New South Wales aged between 20 and 39 are still not able to get vaccinated if their GP does not recommend AstraZeneca. In June, I asked the Prime Minister about vaccinating 20- to 39-year-olds as a priority. He dismissed the question. Doherty Institute also recommended vaccinating this group, and that call has been dismissed. This group is the most mobile in the community. Vaccinating them is absolutely necessary to have any hope of getting out of this lockdown.

Small businesses in Warringah and Sydney are on their knees, with a lockdown at Christmas and now, seven weeks into another lockdown, and numbers going up. Families and partners are separated due to the draconian and inconsistent travel restrictions and arrival caps. Students are anxious and distressed about their exams. The Premier is talking about vaccination as being the only route out of lockdown, but, at our current rate, the 70 per cent double-dose target would take us to 5 November. That's 12 weeks away—12 more weeks of a crippling lockdown. I genuinely fear for the personal and economic resilience of many in my community, and I call on the government to do better. We need to roll out more support, more financial support and more mental health support, urgently. There are so many calling out for more. It's time to get real.