NSW MPs in state parliament will receive 20 free rapid antigen tests each while essential transport workers are left to fend for themselves, according to trucking magazine Big Rigs.
In an email thread obtained by the publication from the Department of Parliamentary Services, NSW MPs were advised that “20 Rapid Antigen Test kids (RAT) [will] be sent to each electorate office this week for use by members and staff” and that “one kit per member/staff per week” will be available for everyone working in NSW Parliament House.
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has condemned the decision, labelling the move as “breathtaking hypocrisy” for failing to provide free rapid antigen tests to essential transport workers too.
“The NSW Government is happy for essential workers and members of the public to run around countless pharmacies and supermarkets trying to find a rapid test, and to make them pay for it if they do manage to find one – but at the same time they are handing out 2000 free tests to Members of Parliament,” TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen told the publication.
“The TWU is calling on every NSW politician to do the right thing by their communities, and donate their free rapid tests to essential transport workers in their electorate.”
He also added that the NSW Government needs to make these tests available free for all transport workers as soon as possible, saying “if it’s good enough for politicians, then it’s good enough for the essential workers we all rely on.”