The Sustainable Australia Party shares the pain and uncertainty generated by the coronavirus pandemic. Our thoughts are with all those who are being affected, both directly and indirectly.
We know that there is much more pain to come, and we have taken the difficult but necessary step to suspend public-facing activities until further notice.
It is important that we all put the health interests of each other first. We support the actions of the Federal and State Governments to limit the spread of the virus by restricting public contact. We encourage people to read and follow the Social Distancing Guidance Information Sheet issued by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the information it has provided under the heading Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources. We strongly endorse their recommended steps concerning personal hygiene and social distancing. The restrictions are onerous, but lives are at stake.
It is clear that job losses from the pandemic will be severe and without any recent precedent. We urge landlords to postpone rent or even provide a rent holiday for those who have lost their jobs at this time. Of course landlords themselves may depend on rent for their income or to pay debts, and we urge banks and financial institutions to suspend or cancel loan repayments from landlords and workers whose income has been slashed due to the pandemic.
In turn banks and financial institutions can be adversely affected by these measures, and we urge Federal and State Governments to support those banks and other financial institutions that are doing the right thing by their customers. We urge Federal and State Governments to take action to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent caused by coronavirus related economic hardship.
The Sustainable Australia Party encourages the Federal and State Governments to prioritise funding on the development of both preventative measures and effective treatments for coronavirus. We note the great research work being done right around the world. In Melbourne the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research is pioneering the trial of an anti-malaria drug which could prevent those taking it from becoming infected. Researchers at Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection have successfully mapped the immune system’s response to COVID-19. Researchers in Queensland, including Professor David Paterson, are working on clinical trials of drugs used to treat HIV and malaria.
These and other initiatives must receive priority from Federal and State Governments, whether through direct financial support, or co-operative arrangements involving relevant international bodies such as the World Health Organisation, or private foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
National Media Spokesperson,
Sustainable Australia Party