Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (16:34): Our communities are tired. We have been under restrictions for who knows how long, but it is certainly longer than anywhere else. Our hair is too long. Many in our community are doing it really tough. Thousands are mourning the loss of a loved one due to COVID. But many of us can see a finish line. However, that is not the finish line for our nurses and healthcare workers—it is nowhere near. They have many more months of relentless, long hours in full PPE, without breaks and getting abused. It is only vaccination rates that they can hope for. So it is great news that the government has listened and is providing a pay boost. It is much-needed recognition for the care these workers continue to provide us, and I am particularly pleased to see that our allied health workers were recognised. But we can and we must do more. I have spoken to nurses who are taking annual leave because of the understandable stress the pandemic places on these dedicated people. We should be providing pandemic stress leave for those who are on the front line without a realistic finish line.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan
Members statement 14/10/21