Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson BA MLA

Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson BA MLA

Minister for Health; Mental Health

    More access to free RATs for WA regional and remote communities

    25/03/2022 8:35 AM
    • Thousands of free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) available for communities in regional and remote Western Australia
    • Ngaanyatjarra Council and other local Aboriginal organisations helping to distribute to their communities
    • Free RATs to also be handed out at pop-up sites across the State 

    The McGowan Government will distribute 74,000 free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to remote Aboriginal communities across the State during the next phase of the WA Free RAT Program.


    The supply will ensure remote and regional communities continue to be well-placed to detect COVID-19 with the quick at-home tests.


    Residents in remote communities will receive 20 RATs per household - above the 15 tests available to households around the State - due to the distance from services and access to postage.


    The free RATs will be distributed by local Aboriginal organisations such as the Ngaanyatjarra Council, Midwest Employment and Economic Development Aboriginal Corporation (MEEDAC) and Yulella Aboriginal Corporations, and by the Department of Communities and local Members of Parliament.


    To make it even more convenient for people in regional communities to access free RATs, an additional 180,000 RATs will be made available at pop-up sites at Albany Plaza, Primewest Broome Boulevard, Bunbury Forum, Stirlings Central Geraldton, Karratha City Shopping Centre and the Hannans Boulevard Shopping Centre Kalgoorlie-Boulder, from Tuesday March 29, without the need for people to register beforehand.


    A full list of upcoming RAT distribution points will be available on wa.gov.au, or by phoning 13 COVID (13 26843).


    Each WA household can register to receive free RATs through the WA Free RAT Program.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "With COVID in our community, we all have a role to play in ensuring we get tested and isolate accordingly.


    "This is the best way to protect others from contracting it and falling ill, and is even more critical in vulnerable and remote communities.


    "Providing more free RATs gives regional residents and people living in remote communities the convenience and access to COVID testing so they can protect their communities." 


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:


    "It is important we do everything we can to protect those most vulnerable in our community from COVID-19 and we know that many in our remote communities are at an increased risk.


    "These free Rapid Antigen Tests will help those in our regions with their testing needs during this Omicron outbreak and get supplies to people in remote locations who aren't able to access the postal program.


    "Thank you to all who are assisting with this effort, including local Aboriginal organisations such as the Ngaanyatjarra Council, MEEDAC and Yulella Aboriginal Corporations, and the Department of Communities."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Health Minister's office - 6552 5900