Proposed COVID-19 support package to be debated at council meeting

Councillors Nathan Hagarty and Charishma Kaliyanda.

Councillors Nathan Hagarty and Charishma Kaliyanda.

Councillors Nathan Hagarty and Charishma Kaliyanda are calling for council to lobby the state government for more COVID-19 testing clinics and vaccination hubs in Liverpool.

"The only way we will put COVID behind us is when a critical percentage of the population are vaccinated. Until then, lockdowns will become an ever present reality," said Mr Hagarty, who is Labor's mayoral candidate for the upcoming council elections.

"We need urgent and easy access to vaccines. Council can provide the facilities to get the jab as they have done with testing clinics.

"There is broad support for testing and vaccinations within the Liverpool community, as evidenced by the extensive queues at testing and vaccinations sites. However, it has also demonstrated the inadequacy of current testing resources and vaccination supplies."

The call for more testing clinics and vaccination hubs is part of the councillors' proposed package of support measures to assist residents and small businesses which is set to be debated at the upcoming July council meeting.

Some of the measures include rate relief, business assistance, parking for essential workers and refunds for sporting facilities and community hall hirers. They also want to re-establish the COVID-19 Emergency Response Program to support critical and essential services for vulnerable community groups and push for long-term funding and resources for local targeted services like mental health support for communities from non-English speaking backgrounds.

"With no JobKeeper on offer and Liverpool being targeted for harsher restrictions, people are doing it tougher this time around," Councillor Hagarty said.

"There is a lot of stress, anxiety and uncertainty in our community with many struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. This suite of assistance will provide some welcome breathing space for local families and businesses."

Councillor Kaliyanda said they want to make sure that the community has the best chance of emerging from these harsh restrictions as early as possible.

"We know that loss of income may prevent people from adhering to the restrictions, so we're also calling on the state and federal governments to factor in financial relief for some of the most vulnerable people in our economy," she said.