Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain claims regional communities are being treated as second-class citizens following moves to redirect Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses from regional NSW to vaccinate Year 12 students in Sydney’s eight local government areas of concern.
Ms McBain said regional NSW residents are being left behind because Prime Minister Scott Morrison “didn’t think the vaccine rollout was a race and didn’t order enough vaccines”.
She is calling on the Federal Government to urgently expand the vaccine rollout in regional NSW, and restore the doses that have now been taken away.
“I am contacted by Eden-Monaro residents every day who are struggling to get vaccinated,” said Ms McBain.
“In Queanbeyan, people have told me they are having to wait up to three months to get a vaccination. In some of our remote towns, people face journeys of more than an hour to reach a vaccine clinic.”
Ms McBain said communities in the Eden-Monaro electorate rely on transient workers and tourists to survive.
“They’ve been hit hard because of ongoing and repeated border closures, and now residents and businesses are being told their health and safety isn’t a priority,” she said.
“It’s another blow to communities already struggling.
“People in regional areas, in the Snowy Mountains, in Tumut and Tumbarumba, and on the Far South Coast have been waiting patiently for Pfizer supplies to reach them, and now the government is telling them they need to wait even longer.
“Regional communities are sick of being treated as second-class citizens.”
Ms McBain said the Federal Government’s failures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have left communities exposed and under-resourced.
“While this is a decision by the NSW Government, it comes as a direct result of Scott Morrison’s failures in hotel quarantine and the vaccine rollout,” she said.
“It is completely unacceptable that regional NSW residents have had to bail out this government’s failed vaccine rollout.
“The Federal Government’s failures have once again left regional NSW exposed and at the back of the queue.
“Now is not the time to hit the brakes in the vaccine rollout. We need to be travelling full steam ahead.”