GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS FOOD DELIVERY FOR PEOPLE IN CORONAVIRUS SELF-ISOLATION

21 March 2020

200321 - GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS FOOD DELIVERY FOR PEOPLE IN CORONAVIRUS SELF-ISOLATION

Friday, 27 March 2020
12:18 PM


SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

 
GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS FOOD DELIVERY FOR PEOPLE IN CORONAVIRUS SELF-ISOLATION
 
Prime Minister Scott Morrison must act quickly to ensure Australians in self-isolation have access to reliable food delivery, or risk further spread of coronavirus, following the decision of major retailers to stop home deliveries this week.
 
The decision of major supermarkets to end grocery home delivery services means people in self-isolation – including people returning from overseas, waiting for test results or those who are infected – are being referred to charities such as Foodbank to get access to food. 
 
However, with Foodbank already reporting increased demand for essential goods and food staples, this is not to time to put more demand on the charity sector to fill this gap. 
 
The Prime Minister tasked the Department of Home Affairs to lead the National Coordination Mechanism on 5 March 2020 – over two weeks ago. Their job is to identify and resolve with the states, territories, local governments and the private sector any non-health related emerging issues or bottlenecks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The lack of food delivery to people in self-isolation is exactly the kind of problem the National Coordination Mechanism can and must solve as a matter of urgency.
 
Our major supermarkets have been working incredibly hard to keep food on our shelves. Woolworths is looking at ways to facilitate deliveries for the elderly and vulnerable people but supermarkets can’t bear the burden when it comes to ensuring food delivery services to all Australians in self-isolation during this national crisis. 
 
Australians doing the right thing and self-isolating need and deserve support from their Government.
 
The Government should work with retailers to urgently prioritise and establish a food delivery service to Australians in self-isolation to ensure these people aren’t forced to leave their homes to access food, forced to rely on goodwill, or left to go hungry.
 
Scott Morrison must also make it clear which Minister is dealing with this important matter and is ultimately responsible and Labor will put forward an equivalent representative.
 
With thousands of Australians flying back into the country that are required to self-isolate, there couldn’t be a more important time to ensure that these food delivery services are in place. 
 
Throughout this crisis, Labor will be always constructive and we are seeking to help the Government help all Australians – particularly those in self-isolation.
 
SATURDAY, 21 MARCH 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: TIMOTHY DUNLOP (KENEALLY) 0428 043 110
 
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.
 
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