10 May 2023

Opposition leader talks vaccination rates on trip

| Matt Nicholls
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A WHIRLWIND trip to Lockhart River has been used as a political move to pressure the state government into lifting the vaccination rates in Indigenous communities.

David Crisafulli, the LNP’s state leader, made an eleventh-hour trip to Cape York, flying in and out of Lockhart River within the space of a couple of hours.

The Opposition Leader flew two media organisations to the remote community to promote his trip, but did not invite Cape York Weekly.

In Lockhart River, he was able to meet with mayor Wayne Butcher and council CEO David Clarke, who explained how the community had achieved a high vaccination rate.

In a statement, Mr Crisafulli praised local community leaders who provided clear and concise information to locals as soon as the vaccine became available.

He said ensuring our most vulnerable people were vaccinated must be the state government’s first priority, although did not offer any suggestions as to how that could be achieved.

“We are failing our First Nations people if we do not lift vaccination rates in these communities,” he said.

“It’s time the state government improved access and provided confidence to lift the rates in these communities.

“I fear we are at risk of a Northern Territory style outbreak in at-risk communities if we do not act now.

“This is our window of opportunity. “We must work with Indigenous communities to get the jab.

“We need to mobilise clinics in these communities as a matter of urgency. We need to have trusted voices explaining these vaccines are safe.

“Protecting First Australians must be a priority.”

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