The NLC supports call by Aboriginal health peak body for 90% vaccination rates

Date: Sep 9, 2021

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Coronavirus

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The NLC supports the call from AMSANT for a minimum Aboriginal vaccination rate of 90% across the NT before borders are opened.

The Borroloola Barkly Regional Council of the NLC made two resolutions yesterday in its meeting at Tennant Creek.

The first resolution was for a minimum vaccination rate of 90% in the Northern Territory for all Aboriginal Territorians aged 12 years and above before the NT government opens the borders with surrounding states.

The Borroloola Barkly Regional Council also resolved to call for better information from the NT and Federal governments on vaccination rates for each region across the NT.

NLC Chair Samuel Bush-Blanasi supported the Borroloola Barkly Regional Council’s resolutions, noting that last week the NLC wrote to both the NT and Federal governments asking for better information about COVID-19 generally and vaccination rates out bush in particular.

“We need higher vaccination rates in the NT because 80% might be ok for the big cities out east but it is too low to protect Aboriginal people in remote communities. We need minimum of 90%,” said Mr Bush-Blanasi.

Mr Bush-Blanasi also called for better and more appropriate information about vaccination rates and locations in the NLC area.

“We must have better information on vaccination at the regional level in the Northern Territory so we know how we are tracking. We don’t need to name and shame individual communities, but if we don’t know what is happening in regions outside Darwin and Alice Springs then we won’t know where we need to focus and target our information promoting vaccination for our mob.”

Mr Bush-Blanasi urged governments to follow the lead from Aboriginal organisations speaking on behalf of regional and remote constituents.

“For us this is about our lives, our people. The government has to think beyond the big cities when they are making important decisions that affect our mob out bush. Higher vaccination rates out bush would also protect the many non-Aboriginal people that work on our communities and homelands.”