Ignored workers concerns leads to Sydney Airport scenes

The union representing the public sector including Biosecurity Officers and Australian Border Force workers, the CPSU, says todays concerns about scenes at Sydney Airport are a direct result of department ignoring union member concerns.

Australians returning home this morning were met with mass confusion at Sydney Airport, due to unplanned and badly communicated changes.

Up until today  Biosecurity Officers and NSW Department of Health nurses have been testing passengers who have been in COVID-19  high risk countries in the past two weeks and randomly testing all other passengers for temperatures and asking detailed health questions all that arrive, and providing every passenger with information.  

Today all passengers are undergoing increased health screening. The testing space is too small for all passengers, and disembarking is not being staggered to allow for social distancing. 

The Departments of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Home Affairs must listen to the concerns of their front-line workforce who have been flagging these concerns for weeks. 

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment staff have been working hard to test and protect the Australian border, but the department is failing to provide safe workspaces. 

CPSU Deputy National President Brooke Muscat-Bentley said, “What we have seen at Sydney Airport is a direct failure of government. Had the department and government listened to our members todays scenes would have been avoided.”

“Agriculture Minister Littleproud is missing in action. It is astonishing that the government is telling the nation to social distance and take the up most precautions but cannot take steps to assure us at our border.”

“This is a failure of planning, just like we have seen with Services Australia this week. The government has known what was coming, but have just been unable or unwilling to prepare for it.”