Dr Richard Di Natale has today called on the Australian government to urgently release its COVID-19 modelling in the face of confusing and fragmented advice from state premiers, first ministers and the commonwealth.
"COVID-19 is presenting an unprecedented public health threat, and Australians are understandably extremely concerned," Dr Di Natale, Greens health spokesperson said today.
"In establishing the ‘National Cabinet’ of states, territories and the commonwealth, the government told us they would be providing people with clear, consistent advice on how to protect themselves and their communities, as well as a coordinated national public health response.
"That consistency has now evaporated, with Australians in each state receiving conflicting advice.
"In a time of crisis Australians are looking for strong, clear leadership and consistency of message. This weekend we saw states and territories going it alone and a PM floundering to catch up.
"It is now time for the government to follow the UK’s example and publicly release the data and modelling that they are working from so that Australians can understand the extent of the situation and have what they need to make well-informed decisions.
"While it is clear this is a rapidly evolving situation with a great many unknowns, access to this information is essential to providing people greater clarity on the unfolding crisis and the link between the modelling and the government’s response.
As a public health specialist, Dr Di Natale worked on influenza pandemic planning in Victoria before entering politics, was part of Australia’s disease surveillance system and visited West Africa during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.