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

    Thousands of free RATs delivered to the Kimberley

    11/03/2022 8:25 AM
    • McGowan Government delivers 48,000 free Rapid Antigen Tests for remote Aboriginal communities
    • Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services and other local Aboriginal organisations helping to distribute RATs to households
    • Thousands more RATs on the way for other remote communities in coming weeks
    • McGowan Government's Australian-first free RATs program ensures all Western Australians have easy access to testing, no matter where they live 

    The McGowan Government has delivered about 48,000 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for remote communities in the Kimberley, as part of the State's Australian-first free RATs distribution program.


    Thousands of the tests arrived in the Kimberley yesterday afternoon for distribution to remote communities shortly.


    The McGowan Government launched the free RATs program - the first and only of its kind in Australia - late last month to ensure every household in the State has easy and free access to COVID-19 testing.


    There are hundreds of remote communities in Western Australia, many of which are long distances from major centres and services - many without access to normal postal delivery.


    The Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services will assist with the distribution, with the help of other local Aboriginal organisations.


    Households in remote communities will receive 20 RATs each - above the five tests that most other households around the State are eligible to receive.


    These households will receive a larger allocation because of their often extreme distance from services, lack of access to normal postage, and the generally larger size of households in this cohort.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "WA is the only jurisdiction in Australia delivering free RATs to every household in the State - to make sure every Western Australian has easy, free access to COVID-19 testing.


    "Our vast State has hundreds of remote communities which can't easily access services or normal postal delivery - so this approach ensures we can provide tests direct to households that need them.


    "We know Aboriginal people are at greater risk from COVID-19. This initiative, along with our ongoing vaccination efforts, will help protect everyone in our remote communities as we move through this next phase of the pandemic."


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:


    "Everyone should have access to COVID-19 testing - no matter where they live or what their circumstances are.


    "Delivering these thousands of free RATs to remote parts of the State will address the tyranny of distance and other barriers for these communities - ensuring our most vulnerable have protection.


    "We sincerely thank the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services for their assistance on this initiative."


    Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:


    "This initiative will make sure we get free RATs into more households in the Kimberley -regardless of how small the population or remote the community.


    "It just isn't possible for many of us in the Kimberley to pop down the road to the shops or a testing centre.


    "I encourage everyone in our region to make use of these free RATs, and keep following the health advice to keep each other and our communities safe."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Health Minister's office - 6552 6500