Things continue to move rapidly when it comes to COVID restrictions and supports. We will do our best to keep this page updated with the latest information and links.Read more
Key suburbs in inner Sydney and Melbourne are showing significantly lower rates of Covid-19 vaccination rates than in surrounding suburbs but this appears to be due to a statistical anomaly.
These rates are being used to determine whether individuals will be able to enter South Australia in coming weeks and also whether South Australian residents will be required to quarantine upon returning from these areas in Sydney or Melbourne.
Our office wrote to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard about this issue in August. You can read this letter here. Minister Hazzard's response indicated that COVID-19 vaccination statistics may not accurately reflect current suburb populations.
We have written a joint letter with Ellen Sandall MP (Member for Melbourne) and Tammy Franks MLC (SA), to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Premiers of NSW, Victoria and South Australia calling for an urgent review of the figures used to calculate quarantine percentages. You can read this letter here.
NSW Health is using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population 2019 data which has been calculated on the 2016 Census, to calculate its postcode Covid-19 vaccination rates.
The reason for the vaccination rate percentage anomalies appears to be directly linked to the changes in the student population in these suburbs as a result of the pandemic. There has been a significant change in students living in and close to our major universities in Sydney and Melbourne. In the suburbs of Darlington, Redfern, University of Sydney, Ultimo, Chippendale and Kensington in Sydney and in several inner-city suburbs in Melbourne such as the CBD, there are significant differences in vaccination rates compared with the overall city percentages.
The reasons for this are simple. Many students who may have been located in any of these suburbs on the 2016 Census night are no longer living in these suburbs due to the impacts of the pandemic. Some will have moved back to live with their families and will have been registered at these home addresses when getting vaccinated; whereas many international students are no longer based in these suburbs and may be still overseas waiting to return; or other students who lost casual work in these suburbs, will have moved out of the inner city due to increased rental stress. We are also aware that people have chosen to move away from the inner city in Melbourne to outer suburbs and rural areas as working from home became the norm.
Reports from the City of Melbourne indicate that international students had comprised a third of the CBD’s population prior to the pandemic. The City of Melbourne estimates around 28,000 international students have left the city during the pandemic. This situation is very similar in Sydney’s inner suburbs which house 4 major tertiary institutions and a number of large TAFE colleges. As mentioned above, the pandemic has given people the opportunity to move away from their workplaces and work remotely in suburban or rural areas, however these movements will not be shown statistically until after the next census.
Although NSW is currently registering close to a 90% double vaccination rate, the University of Sydney 2006 postcode area is registering a single and double vaccination rate of less than 10%; while the adjacent suburbs of Darlington, Chippendale and Golden Grove (postcode 2008) are currently registering a double vaccination rate of between 50-60%, while Redfern (postcode 2016), Camperdown (postcode 2050), and Ultimo (postcode 2007) are all indicating between 60-70%.
Additionally the suburbs of Elizabeth Bay, Kings Cross and HMAS Kuttabul (postcode 2011) are showing a 50-60% fully vaccinated rate which we believe is due to the fact that the large number of personnel who would have been based at the HMAS Kuttabul navy base in Potts Point on Census night, are no longer based onsite and would have been off site for the purposes of vaccinations.
We are calling on the federal Health Minister and the Premiers of NSW, VIC and SA, to urgently address these statistical anomalies in relation to interstate travel to and from South Australia so that residents from these cities will not be unfairly impacted by travel restrictions which are based on outdated population predictions which have skewed the actual vaccination rates in these areas.
Increased cases and New Testing and Vaccination Sites
Concerningly for our local community, NSW Health is reporting increased cases and low vaccination rates in Redfern, Darlington, Waterloo, and Eveleigh. There are new testing sites and a pop up Pfizer vaccination clinic so you can walk up and get vaccinated today.
It’s also being reported that vaccination rates for 16-25 year olds is quite low. We know there are lots of reasons for this, including a lack of information and delays in eligibility, so it's really important that this age group are supported and encouraged to be able to get vaccinated as soon as possible.Read more
The NSW Premier and Treasurer today announced a new financial assistance packaged for people and businesses who have lost income due to the Greater Sydney lockdown. The $600 disaster payment for people who have lost more than 20 hours a week will be raised to $750 and the payment for people who have lost less than 20 hours of work will increase from $375 to $450 a week.
I am very thankful I am now fully vaccinated (thank you NSW Health).
I know the roll out / availability has been far from ideal, and the systems are clunky. But there are appointments available - for AZ right now (including at local GPs and pharmacies) and for Pfizer in the coming weeks.
There are few ways to find an appointment near you right now whether you are eligible for Pfizer or AZ.
- This week, the Sydney Local Health District was added to the priority program for the Pfizer vaccine so if you are between the ages of 16-39 you can book your appointment right now. Eligible suburbs include Redfern, Enmore, Erskineville, Waterloo, Camperdown, Chippendale, Newtown and the whole Inner West LGA. Check if your suburb is eligible here and book your vaccination here
- Register for Pfizer or AZ through the Australian Government form and book an appointment right now here. You can filter for 'closest to me' or 'next available appointment'.
- If you already know you eligibility status, find the next available appointment near your through HotDoc here.
- Find a local pharmacy offering COVID jabs without an appointment here. New pharmacies are being added all the time.
- If you're eligible for Pfizer but having trouble finding an appointment quickly, this tool or this tool might help.
If you have lost income as a result of lockdown there is support available. We know that lots of people are not eligible and we are advocating for those loopholes to be closed, which is why we are asking people to tell us so that we can bring it to the attention of the Government.Read more
We have developed a directory of contact details for health advice, income support, government services and assistance available regarding COVID-19.Read more
We know that there are some people who have fallen through the cracks of the COVID lockdown support package.
We hold serious concerns for significant numbers of people who will not receive support in this package, including any current recipient of an income support payment such as JobSeeker, Austudy or the Disability Support Payment, as well as people who are in precarious work or housing. The eligibility of non-citizens is very unclear.
The purpose of this survey is to hear directly from you – so that we know where the specific gaps are in the support package – and who is missing out.
We will then use this information to raise it directly with the NSW Premier, Treasurer and Health Minister urging them to immediately address these gaps – and expand the necessary supports.
The Greens are committed to ensuring no one in NSW is forced to choose whether to risk breaking the health restrictions or being able to pay rent or put food on their table. By excluding people from this support package, this is exactly what people will be forced to do if the NSW Liberal/National Government does not act.
*Please be aware that we will not be individually responding to the concerns shared. However, when you complete this survey you will be directed to a page with contact details for emergency assistance and other support services.
Our COVID pandemic support directory also has a list of contacts where you can find assistance for specific issues.Take the survey