Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, has hit back at claims that the State Government is not doing enough to ensure vital COVID-19 health information reaches multilingual communities.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay is calling for a COVID-19 co-ordinating committee, saying the Government is failing in its multicultural messaging.
“For the second time in a week, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard issued a directive to unnamed multicultural community leaders to convey important COVID-related messages,” McKay said.
“This is not good enough; the Minister has issued a vague directive to community leaders instead of working directly with them to make sure this vital information gets through.
“There is no coordinated strategy to identify leaders to encourage testing in culturally diverse parts of the state.”
NSW Labor has been calling for the establishment of a COVID-19 coordinating committee since August, to bridge the gap between the Government and multicultural communities during the pandemic.
“A dedicated COVID-19 Coordinating Committee is important, because health messages are best received when they come from trusted organisations and diverse community leaders,” McKay said.
But Crouch said the Government is providing multilingual resources and multilingual public communications to ensure everyone in NSW, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, receive up-to-date COVID-19 information.
“As the pandemic has evolved, so has the NSW Government’s work to better communicate COVID-19 information,” he said.
“Broad public awareness campaigns commenced in February, 2020, with more than half of the campaign media budget in February and March 2020 focused on audiences who speak a language other than English.
“Since April 2020, Service NSW has led a coordinated approach to COVID-19 public communications.
“I strongly encourage our Central Coast community to continue checking the NSW Government website for confirmed case details, locations and COVID-19 restrictions.