Reopening plan could hit poor the hardest: ACOSS

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a COVID media briefing yesterday (ABC News screenshot)

New South Wales risks setting a national reopening precedent which leaves the vulnerable behind, with social services groups warning the 70 per cent vaccination target could mask inequity in low-income communities. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) said it has been unable to access an income bracket breakdown highlighting vaccination rates of the poorest groups, despite multiple requests to the state government and national cabinet.

The claim comes as COVID-19 case numbers rise in inner Sydney suburbs like Glebe, Camperdown, Redfern and Waterloo, including among vulnerable groups and in public housing.

While a vaccination breakdown by suburb is published by NSW Health, ACOSS says that does not provide a full picture of inoculation rates by income.

ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie and her NSW counterpart Joanna Quilty on Saturday wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian urgently seeking vaccination data by income.

Ms Goldie said ACOSS was seriously concerned about whether the road map has considered the effects on vulnerable groups if we don’t achieve safe vaccination rates in those groups specifically.

She said the state had already seen the terrible consequence of very low vaccination rates in places like Wilcannia (in north-western NSW).

A spokeswoman for Premier Gladys Berejiklian declined to comment.

FULL STORY

State warned of ‘huge risk’ to vulnerable people (Lucy Cormack, Sydney Morning Herald)

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COVID-19 enters facilities for the vulnerable in inner Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald)

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