Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]

Statement: PCR and rapid antigen testing

January 04, 2022

“The news that the operators of the Clarendon COVID testing facility have closed it indefinitely – alongside Winmalee in the Blue Mountains, Olympic Park, Penrith RSL, Marsden Park and nearly 20 other facilities – will only serve to add to people’s anxiety, and limits the options they have to get tested.

“The lack of access to PCR and rapid antigen tests over the Christmas/New Year break has caused anxiety and stress for so many people in Macquarie. I have had distressed messages from people who need test results in time for operations this week, and people living with or close contacts of Covid-positive cases.

“The failure to prepare for this stage of the pandemic – which was completely predictable based on what we’ve seen overseas – is a failure of both the Morrison and Perrottet governments.

“When you expect people to ‘take personal responsibility’ you need to provide the tools for them to do that.

“For months I have been calling on the Morrison Government to outline a plan for rapid antigen testing.

“In early October I held an online forum with a globally renowned emergency response specialist and a local testing manufacturer to brief small business owners and workers on its use. That same month, I joined with Shadow Minister for NDIS and Government Services Bill Shorten to call for the government to provide disability service providers with access to rapid antigen testing for disability support workers.

“I have stated publicly that rapid antigen self-testing kits should be free so workers, businesses, aged care, disability services and families who need them can have another layer of protection – yet the only people who can access them at the moment are those who are lucky enough to be in the right place when supplies are delivered, and have deep pockets to pay for them.

“These tests are provided free by governments to their citizens around the world to help protect people and protect the economy, yet Mr Morrison continues to fail the community, particularly by shifting the responsibility to the states.

“When the AIDS crisis occurred in the 1980s, Labor took a national public health approach – they certainly didn’t say to the states ‘it’s your problem, off you go’.

“We need a national government that will take a national leadership role, not one that buck passes.”