Member for Morwell Russell Northe in State Parliament today, has called upon the Premier to intervene and ensure local residents have access to essential items and products and also access to necessary health services.
“Today in Question Time I have put to the Premier that Latrobe Valley residents are feeling the strain and impacts of COVID-19”, Mr Northe said from Spring Street this morning. “It is well known our region has a significant shortage of GP’S before COVID-19 so it gives some concern as to how well prepared we are from a health response perspective’.
“I constantly hear from local residents that it can take weeks to be able to get an appointment with a doctor and this is not good enough”, Mr Northe said. We currently have over 40 vacancies for Doctors in the Gippsland region including at Morwell, Churchill and Traralgon clinics, and many of these are long-term vacancies.
Mr Northe said his office had also been inundated with concerns from a vast range of people who are upset and angry at their inability to obtain essential items from supermarket shelves.
The aged, persons with a disability, those with health or mental health challenges, workers, employees and small businesses are all experiencing difficulty in accessing these items and stronger interventions by the Government and by the supermarkets must occur, Mr Northe said.
The measures that are in place at the moment are simply not working for many, many individuals, families and businesses and Governments and the supermarkets must step in to fix the mess that has been partly created by a cohort of persons through their selfish bulk purchase of essential goods and items.
The generosity and goodness that so many displayed during the course of recent bushfire events has unfortunately fallen into the background, but this same generosity must rise again to help those desperately in need right now.
“Our business community has been hit terribly hard and whilst some measures have been announced by the Federal Government, more practical measures need to be implemented urgently. Financial support and taxation relief is a must if we are going to help so many small and medium businesses survive this crisis, and that is why I have also raised these matters in Parliament this week.” concluded Mr Northe.
You can read Mr Northe’s question and the Premiers response here