• Tony Bosworth

MP Templeman’s urgent call for vaccination hub for Hawkesbury residents

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman calls for a mass vaccination hub and mobile in-reach service to be set up immediately for Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains residents, as locals face months-long waits for vaccines.

Ms Templeman said Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains residents were being forced to choose between unacceptably long waits in the local area or travelling to a potential COVID hot spot to obtain a jab.

“The virus has had incursions into our communities, and our community has responded magnificently - they've tested, they've isolated and we've kept the numbers low,” Ms Templeman said.

“But people really want to be vaccinated. What is frustrating is that they cannot find places to be vaccinated in a timely way.

“Just under 50 per cent of eligible Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury residents had received their first jab by August 1, and just less than 40 per cent in the Blue Mountains and Greater West. While it’s fantastic people are actively trying to get vaccinated, imagine what those numbers would be 18 months into the pandemic if there was better supply and access.

“Travelling into Homebush for a jab and then standing around in a long queue is making people nervous.

“A mass vaccination hub is desperately needed in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury so people don’t have to travel through COVID affected areas to get a timely vaccination.

“For those living in more remote parts of the electorate like Colo, the Mounts and St Albans, a mobile in-reach service would be of huge benefit. People could stay within their own area and be delivered vaccines safely without the need to travel.

“There's not a single hub in the Blue Mountains or Hawkesbury to be vaccinated, and I have had residents telling me they have to wait until September or October to get a jab locally – if there is availability at all.

“We've had GPs doing what they can with the workforce they have and with the supplies that they have, but demand is too great.

MP Templeman speaking in Parliament - archive photo

“What people are also telling me about is the failure of the government's own COVID app to try and find an appointment. It’s been about as effective as the COVID tracing app – it’s time consuming, and what it basically gives you is a list of GPs who you then have to call individually.

“That is not a way to get this rollout happening effectively and efficiently.

“The other really big issue is why isn't there a plan for what happens at the end of the day when vaccine vials are open? Why are they being thrown down the drain? More importantly, how many are being thrown down the drain?

“How does this Federal Government justify creating a situation where Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine is let go down the drain?

“They need to answer to that. These are the sorts of issues that go to competence and we have seen incompetence from this government in a failure to order a sufficient number of vaccines, enough variety of vaccines, a failure to secure quarantine.

“These things need to change. We don't have time. This is a race and everybody but the Prime Minister knows it.”

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