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MEDIA STATEMENT: APY to cut off from the rest of the nation

24 March 2020


The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, in South Australia’s far northwest, will be subject to
further isolation measures to secure its borders and keep vulnerable Anangu safe.

The time has come for APY to implement a blanket shutdown of APY communities from today.

APY was the first Indigenous body in Australia to earlier this month introduce strict new rules for entry into
its lands in response to the pandemic.

APY General Manager Richard King said the COVID 19 pandemic has given rise to unprecedented
circumstances with immediate and potentially fatal consequences for APY Lands residents, who have welldocumented poor health and living conditions.

The decision to completely shut APY’s borders across three states follows an announcement by South
Australian Premier Steven Marshall, who has responsibility for Aboriginal affairs, to shut the state’s

APY leaders have been working with government authorities, Aboriginal health agencies and community
groups to ensure the threat of coronavirus is minimised in what are some of the world's most vulnerable

From 4pm on Tuesday, March 24 the APY Lands will implement strict border controls for all access points,
including road and air.

Any essential service providers that hold a permit to enter the APY Lands will be required to quarantine and
not have contact with Anangu while on the lands.

There will be exemptions of entry to the lands for health, emergency services and policing personnel, with
strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.

APY are consulting with essential service providers to ensure their workforce requirements can be met
while guaranteeing community safety for this period.

Mr King said Anangu and the health of Anangu comes first.

APY is continuing to advocate for government help to prepare isolated and remote communities for the

There have been no known COVID-19 cases among APY Lands residents to date, but the Prime Minister has
expressed concern about the vulnerability of those in remote Indigenous communities, including the APY

During the 2009 A(H1N1) swine flu outbreak, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 11 per
cent of all identified cases, 20 per cent of hospitalisations and 13 per cent of deaths. Indigenous people are
8.5 times more likely to be hospitalised during a virus outbreak.

Please keep up to date on PY Media and 5NPY Radio at:

APY also directs you to SA Health at: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au

People wishing to enter the lands can access information at: www.anangu.com.au

Follow APY on Facebook at APY Lands - Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and on Twitter at

For further information, please contact Richard King on 0401 124 876.

For further media enquiries contact Michael Owen on 0400 042 214.

PMB 227 Umuwa via Alice Springs, NT 0872. Ph: (08) 8954 8132 Fax: (08) 8954 8110 ABN: 77 261 612 162