Federal Labor is calling for the greater protection of healthcare workers, as South Australia proposes harsher penalties for those who threaten frontline workers that could result in a 10-year jail sentence.
Federal opposition health spokesman Chris Bowen and housing spokesman Jason Clare were responding to reports some healthcare workers have been abused on public transport because of their day-to-day proximity to coronavirus patients.
Labor is seeking coordination across all levels of government to provide tangible support mechanisms to help "our heroes" though the current crisis.
It applauded local councils that have already acted to provide free parking to hospital workers during the crisis so they can drive to work safely and is encouraging all levels of government to do the same.
"Labor condemns anyone who vilifies health workers and we call upon all Australians to throw their full support behind each and every worker in the healthcare sector," Mr Bowen and Mr Clare said in a joint statement on Saturday.
Labor has also written to Health Minister Greg Hunt to express concern for "untenable" living arrangements for many critical frontline health professionals.
It says in many cases, health care professionals live with others who are vulnerable and at higher risk of complication if they contract the virus.
'"The federal government should coordinate with all levels of government to ensure that eligible health workers have the accommodation they need to continue to work," they said.
Meanwhile, the South Australian state opposition is introducing harsher penalties to parliament for people who knowingly have the virus or say they do and assault or threaten a frontline worker.
Those convicted will face up to 10 years in jail.
Frontline workers include police and emergency services, nurses, doctors, retail and public transport workers.
SA opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said the new laws will send a strong message and act as a deterrent.
"We must do everything we can to protect our frontline workers," he said.
"This is a deadly virus and people deliberately attacking our frontline staff must face the full force of the law."
SA opposition police spokesman Lee Odenwalder dubbed the "vile behaviour" completely unacceptable.
"Frontline workers already face the risk of contracting COVID-19 as a result of doing their jobs, they shouldn't face the risk of deliberate attacks or threats," Mr Odenwalder said.
On Thursday, this same law was passed in Western Australian state parliament with wrongdoers facing up to 10 years in jail for assaults and seven years for threats or other harm.
Australian Associated Press