SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

IT’S all about the politics when it should be all about the people impacted by the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.

And while they’re all fighting about who’s responsible, many other important issues aren’t getting the attention they deserve, like the lack of rental accommodation, public housing and homelessness.

Overall, Australia has been in an enviable position where COVID-19 is concerned, until this latest worrying outbreak that is.

But certainly, things could have been handled better by both federal and state governments.

For one, the federal government should have rolled out a complementary program of vaccines for the staff members of aged care facilities, as well as the residents, knowing how vulnerable to disease this sector is.

And it stands to reason the staff of aged care facilities, the ones who are moving in and out the most, are the ones most likely to bring the disease in.
While the government included aged-care staff in Stage 1a of the rollout, it should have made vaccination a condition of employment in the sector and provided a dedicated program and enough supplies to get it done.

The federal government should also have recognised the problems with hotel quarantine and built some dedicated facilities for returning travellers and ex-pats; recognising, of course, the Victorian government’s management of hotel quarantine and contact tracing has been the worst by any state.

How, for example, has NSW been able to manage three and four times the number of returning travellers and not had the same issues as Victoria?

But, it’s not all about the health of the community, and the impact on jobs and business; it’s all about politics.

And since Labor copped a drubbing in the Upper Hunter by election, leading to the departure of NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay, putting pressure on the suspect leadership of Anthony Albanese at a federal level; it’s been game on.

The memo went out, start attacking the government, or we’ll lose our seats at the next federal election!

As always in politics, it’s all about self-interest for the MPs… and that’s something that definitely doesn’t pass the pub test.