The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has contacted the Premier’s office seeking clarification as to why Gippsland isn’t being given additional resources to tackle COVID-19 outbreaks.
Mr O’Brien was alarmed yesterday at the announcement of the Premier that additional contact tracing and testing resources would be sent to Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo as concern increases over growing case numbers in those cities.
“It’s absolutely critical that we crack down quickly on any outbreaks to ensure they don’t become a major problem.
“What I am alarmed at is that there are currently 28 cases in the Latrobe Valley and just 24 in Ballarat, yet the government has given no additional contact tracing and testing resources for the Valley and Gippsland.
“While I understand around half of the Latrobe Valley cases are at one aged care facility, this does not mean there is not a risk of community transmission growing if we don’t act quickly.
“Gippslanders have behaved extremely well through this entire pandemic and we’ve been rewarded in most areas by low cases of COVID-19.
“Indeed, in Wellington Shire we are still sitting on zero active cases and being right next to the Latrobe Valley outbreaks we want to keep it that way.”
Mr O’Brien said he appreciated resources were stretched given the huge numbers in Melbourne, but efforts needed to be directed to where outbreaks could be successfully contained.
“I note Latrobe Regional Hospital has established its own contact tracing team in the last few days which is fantastic, but I am concerned to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Government more broadly is providing all the resources that Gippsland needs to get any outbreaks under control.”