257. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Disability Services:
refer to the ''Message to disability sector organisations regarding
COVID-19'', which was sent to service providers last week asking
organisations to —
staff that provide support to people with disability, their families and carers
in non-accommodation settings to limit face-to face contact wherever
(1) Given that we
are a week on from receiving that advice in an ever-changing environment, is
that advice still current?
(2) Does the
minister accept that this places the very business model of many of these
organisations at risk?
(3) Given that
some people with disability depend on their carers for important everyday
tasks, such as getting out of bed and
toileting et cetera, are these carers being provided with extra appropriate
personal protection equipment to minimise contact of bodily fluids?
(4) Has the
government considered offering fast-tracked retraining as disability carers for
people who may lose their jobs in the hospitality/tourism sectors, to ensure
continued support of those with disability in our communities?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some
notice of the question.
(1) The advice
issued by the Department of Communities is consistent with the latest Western Australian
Department of Health guidelines to protect the health of staff and the health
of community members.
(2) COVID-19 is a
very real risk to many organisations. We are working across all levels of
government and the disability sector to minimise these risks.
work is being undertaken at a local and national level, to consider and address
the immediate risks facing the sector. This work will occur in accordance with
advice and direction from the Western Australian Department of Health.
(4) The WA and
commonwealth governments, through the Disability Reform Council, which met
yesterday, are developing a suite of practical responses to address the
escalating situation, including appropriate workforce management and support
issues that may arise as a result of COVID-19. These will be announced in
I table the attached communique from
[See paper 3713.]