• Media Release

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has encouraged Novocastrians to download the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app to help stem the spread of the virus and meet the criteria for restrictions to be eased.

Ms Claydon made the plea after the Government made the rollback of restrictions contingent on widespread uptake of the app.

“Too many people are hurting in our community right now as a result of the restrictions that have been needed to control the spread of COVID-19,” Ms Claydon said.

“If this app can help slow the spread of the virus even further, it means that many Novocastrians will be able to get back to work, to school, to volunteering and community life sooner rather than later.”

Ms Claydon said the app had capacity to improve Australia’s health response dramatically.

“I can understand that some people have misgivings, and I am disappointed that the government  didn't consult more widely on the design, but COVIDSafe could be an important part of the national health response to stem the spread of this diabolical virus,” Ms Claydon said.

“It has the potential to improve contact tracing out-of-sight, but if it’s really going to be a game changer it will need millions more Australians to sign up.”

Ms Claydon said she understood that people might have reservations given the Government’s track record of IT bungles.

“There’s no doubt the Government has made some serious blunders when it comes to IT, but when I weighed things up, I decided the health and wellbeing of our community must take priority,” Ms Claydon said.

“That the nation’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), our doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals stand united in their call for us to download the app, is reason enough for me to overcome my own hesitations following a litany of tech failures from this government.   

“There are no guarantees that the government has got all of the design elements for COVIDSafe App right first-go, but given it has the potential to save lives and ease this enforced hibernation, I think we need to give it a go.”

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