OPINION

St George Matters with Chris Minns: Premier's failure to listen leaves health system in crisis

Chris Minns
Chris Minns

During the past two years, people across our state have sacrificed so much. But despite the difficulties, NSW stuck together and listened to the health advice to keep our communities safe. Now the NSW Government seems determined to undo all our hard work and sacrifice.

The Perrottet Government is a government in chaos. Because of their lack of planning and failure to listen to the health advice they have allowed the virus to spread rapidly without providing the support we need.

The absolute bare minimum in a pandemic is to provide people with the services to find out whether they have contracted COVID. But we now have a situation where people are queuing for hours to get tests, testing clinics closing and people forking out ridiculous amounts of money for a rapid antigen test, if they are lucky enough to find one. These tests must be free and distributed to the people of NSW urgently.

Our public health system is at crisis point. Elective surgery has been cancelled and there are reports nurses are being forced to go back to work even if they're COVID positive, because of nursing shortages.

It should not have come to this. The Premier was warned by the Chief Health Officer, that rising case numbers would mean pressure on our public hospital system, testing facilities and essential frontline workers. However, the Premier did not listen, he ignored the health advice and failed to plan, leaving his State stranded.

Living with COVID does not mean living without a government. The NSW people deserve better from their government, and I'm committed to giving them the leadership they deserve. There are common sense changes that need to be made. Rapid antigen tests must be free, we must keep the mask mandate indoors, ensure QR-testing, and tracking is in place, and have a plan for schools to return safely.