The government has repeatedly said it wants at least 40% of Aussies to download the COVIDSafe tracking app, but not everyone’s convinced.
After Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “millions and millions” of people would need to download the app before lockdowns are seriously lifted, COVIDSafe became kind of a big deal.
PEDESTRIAN.TV asked every federal MP and Senator whether or not they downloaded the app themselves. We said a yes or no answer would suffice, but they were also welcome to add any other brief comments. Some answered personally, while others sent a statement from a staffer.
As it turns out, most but not all politicians said they’ve downloaded the app, and this generally follows party lines. Because we can’t snatch their phones to check for ourselves, we’re taking their word for it.
Most Coalition politicians said they downloaded the app and support it. Makes sense – they’re the government. However, some did admit they’re still a bit skeptical.
Most Labor politicians also said they downloaded it, but many mentioned concerns about privacy, the fact some older folks might not have smartphones, and the fact the app has been reported not to work properly on iPhones.
Most of the crossbench – the Greens, One Nation, Centre Alliance and independents – said they’re holding off on downloading it. That doesn’t mean they’re all alike. While most Greens politicians said they might download it in future, both One Nation Senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts said they won’t download it ever.
The list of names is long. It’s handy to use CTRL+F (or Command+F on Mac) to see if your local representative has downloaded it.
Here’s what we learned:
- Out of 141 responses, all but 15 said they downloaded COVIDSafe
- Most of them have “Sent from my iPhone” as an email signature. This is significant because the app reportedly doesn’t always work on iPhones
- Norfolk Island uses a different country code despite being part of Australia, meaning its residents can’t register with the app
- Senators tend to make their emails more readily available than MPs
- Joel Fitzgibbon was the first to respond, but he had the advantage of alphabetical order
- I can send 227* individualised emails in the same time it takes to listen through Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated, Lorde’s Melodrama, and half of the Sims 1 soundtrack
Peep the full list below:
Adam Bandt – Greens MP for Melbourne – NO (NOT YET)
I haven’t yet downloaded the app because I am reviewing the draft privacy legislation to see what protections it offers. I want to do everything we can to tackle the coronavirus so that health experts can advise that restrictions can be lifted, and I’m open minded about the app, but it’s not clear to me the app is the silver bullet the government is making it out to be.
Alex Gallacher – Labor Senator for SA – YES
Senator Gallacher has downloaded the app.
Alicia Payne – Labor MP for Canberra – YES
Some Canberrans have let me know that they will wait until strong privacy legislation is passed in the Parliament before downloading the app. They don’t trust the Morrison Government’s record on privacy following issues with the metadata legislation, MyHealth record and robodebt. Hopefully the Parliament can deliver this during the next sitting
Andrew Bragg – Liberal Senator for NSW – YES
Yes of course I have.
Andrew Giles – Labor MP for Scullin – YES
I’ve downloaded the app.
I do have some concerns, about functionality (I have an iPhone), about getting the privacy settings and related assurances right, and about communication as to the actual role of the app – but support it as an important tool in getting through this.
Andrew Laming – LNP MP for Bowman – YES
But don’t think we can get to 8 million – and worried that unused apps are deinstalled by iOS – and that 80% get deleted by users.
Andrew Leigh – Labor MP for Fenner – YES
I’ve downloaded the app. As an economist, I like the fact that it has a direct health benefit and a positive externality. Higher take up means faster reopening of the economy, though reports that the app is not yet operational are concerning and the Morrison Government needs to explain what is going on.
Some constituents have raised concerns with me, primarily over accessibility over different device models and security measures. As I told the Fenner residents who contacted me, the Morrison Government needs to be very clear about what privacy protections are in place in the anticipated legislation. They need to be certain that any information collected by authorities will only be used for the purpose of contact tracing, that there are watertight laws in place prohibiting the use of that information for any other purpose, and that once this crisis is over, all of the information collected by authorities is deleted.
Andrew McLachlan – Liberal Senator for SA – YES
Senator McLachlan has downloaded the COVIDSafe app and is encouraging all South Australians to do likewise.
Andrew Wilkie – Independent MP for Clark – NO (NOT YET)
Andrew’s position is outlined in this letter to the Prime Minister and has not changed.
Since the letter, it’s been revealed that the data storage contract is going to Amazon, which also concerns Andrew.
Angus Taylor – Liberal MP for Hume – YES
The Minister has publicly promoted the fact he downloaded the COVIDSafe App. Find here and here.
Anika Wells – Labor MP for Lilley – YES
I downloaded the COVID-19 app. I have concerns about features of the initiative, for example the glitches for iPhone users, but on balance downloaded in the interests of public health. This was a personal decision and I believe my constituents should be afforded the same autonomy – to make the decision for themselves.
I have received complaints from older constituents who can’t download the app because they don’t have access to a smart phone, or because they have an older model smart phone. This is a serious oversight considering older Australians are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
I have also received feedback from constituents who support the app, but feel the Government have not done a good enough job at assuring the public of the security of their information in order to secure the 40% take up needed for the initiative to succeed.
Anne Aly – Labor MP for Cowen – YES
Yes I have downloaded the app after thoroughly looking into it and assessing it. I downloaded because I want to see Australia on the path to recovery.
However I hold some reservations about the privacy elements and look forward to the government ensuring that privacy and confidentiality concerns are thoroughly and transparently dealt with when Parliament sits next week.
I have had concerns about privacy raised by constituents as well as constituents contacting me with concerns that the app is not available to senior citizens and those who are most vulnerable if they do not have a smart phone.
I have also had some constituents raise concerns about the Prime Minister’s communication around the app expressing that they feel like it is being used as a bargaining chip in return for lifting some restrictions
Anne Ruston – Liberal Senator for SA – YES
The Minister has personally downloaded the app.
A link to a Facebook post was included.
Anne Stanley – Labor MP for Werriwa – YES
Ms Stanley has downloaded the app.
Anne Urquhart – Labor Senator for TAS – NO (NOT YET)
Not yet – I am reading the legislation and regulations and also understand the app is not ready to go. I am advised that the Senate Select Committee will be examining the app and legislation in detail and look forward to Australians’ concerns being addressed through this inquiry.
I have been contacted by a number of constituents who are not using the COVIDSafe app, some because it does not work on their older phones and they have no wish to pay for a new phone, others are quite remote and see few others, especially for more than 10 minutes, and still others who do not trust this Government to keep their movement/association details private, as it has demonstrated often that it fails to do so.
I am concerned that, in an area like the North West and the West Coast of Tassie, where the population is older, incomes are lower and where we know levels of digital literacy are poor, that the effectiveness of the app to trace contact could be quite diminished.
Anne Webster – Nationals MP for Mallee – YES
Yes, Dr Webster has downloaded and is running the COVIDSafe app.
Anthony Chisholm – Labor Senator for QLD – YES
Senator Chisholm has downloaded the app.
Amanda Rishworth – Labor MP for Kingston – YES
I have downloaded the app, I think it’s an important step in the fight against COVID-19. Obviously the Government has been talking with the Labor Party. There are continued privacy concerns that individuals have, the Minister for Health has activated some of his powers to actually address those privacy concerns. But going forward we need to make sure the legislation that is associated with this thoroughly addresses privacy concerns out there. It is an important step in the fight against COVID-19 and addressing those privacy concerns, such as making sure this data is not shared with third parties other than health officials to conduct contact tracing, is quite important.
Barnaby Joyce – Nationals MP for New England – NO (NEVER)
Thanks for thinking of Barnaby. Barnaby will not be downloading the app on privacy grounds.
Bert van Manen – LNP MP for Forde – YES
Mr van Manen MP has downloaded the app.
Bill Shorten – Labor MP for Maribyrnong – YES
Labor remains committed to supporting the Government’s COVIDSafe app.
Anything that improves the public health response should be embraced.
But for it to be effective it needs to be a quality app that functions well.
I am concerned at expert and consumer reports that COVIDSafe does not properly work on iPhones – which account for more than half the smartphones in Australia.
I urge the Government to quickly fix these user issues, remove the bugs and update the app to rebuild public trust for a meaningful health tracing tool.
There should also be a customer services phone line for people struggling to download or use the app.
Bridget Archer – Liberal MP for Bass – YES
Hope you are safe and well at this time.
I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app and am encouraging my community to do the same if they are able to.
Carol Brown – Labor Senator for TAS – YES
Yes I have downloaded the app.
Catherine King – Labor MP for Ballarat – YES
Catherine has downloaded the COVIDSafe app onto her phone.
Celia Hammond – Liberal MP for Curtin – YES
We’re staying safe – I hope you are too.
Yes – I have downloaded the app.
Clare O’Neil – Labor MP for Hotham – YES
Easy one: yes, Clare has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
I suspect she was one of the first to do so (among MPs), although she has nonetheless expressed some concerns about it. You may be interested in checking out a few of her tweets about it (1, 2).
Clare also wrote to her constituents last week (via email) to encourage them to download the app. The response from constituents has been largely positive and supportive of the app, with a minority expressing privacy concerns as well as some older residents expressing frustration that they would like to support the cause but do not own smartphones.
Claire Chandler – Liberal Senator for TAS – YES
I have downloaded the app, and am encouraging my constituents to do the same.
Chris Hayes – Labor MP for Fowler – YES
He has downloaded the app and on his Facebook page, he has encouraged others to also download it.
Christian Porter – Liberal MP for Pearce – YES
I can confirm the Attorney has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Craig Kelly – Liberal MP for Hughes – YES
Darren Chester – Nationals MP for Gippsland – YES
Entirely up to you, but for what it’s worth, I’ve signed up for the COVIDSafe app for a few reasons.
1. It’s the quickest way to get governments to lift some of the more extreme social distancing rules, some of which are disproportionately impacting regional people.
2. It will help to protect the health and safety of our more vulnerable people. If they know early they may have been exposed, treatment will start quicker and improve their prognosis.
3. It will help to protect all of our frontline health workers and other people who don’t have the option of working from home.
4. I’m convinced the restrictions and protocols put in place can accommodate legitimate privacy concerns that people have raised.
5. We are all in this together, so let’s use every tool available, including technology.
It’s entirely voluntary and I’m not looking for an argument with anyone. If you don’t agree, then don’t download the app.
I have and will be politely encouraging my friends and family to do the same thing. And I will be deleting it the moment this is over!
Dave Sharma – Liberal MP for Wentworth – YES
Dave and his family have downloaded the app.
David Fawcett – Liberal Senator for SA – YES
The Senator is happy for me to confirm that he has personally downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
David Smith – Labor MP for Bean – YES
I have, but neither of my parents who are clearly in a vulnerable group are able to – one has only a landline and the other an older Nokia mobile.
I have an iPhone and I’m aware that the app may not work with it.
I support the intent but am concerned about the execution. Get it right rather than deliver an app that may exclude many vulnerable people as well as a significant part of the population using the most common platform. And don’t forget Norfolk Island, part of my electorate, who can’t use it at all as they are on a different international phone code.
David Van – Liberal Senator for VIC – YES
I can confirm that Senator Van has downloaded the app (and pressed all his staff to do the same).
Don Farrell – Labor Senator for SA – YES
Yes, I’ve downloaded COVIDSafe and would encourage people to do the same.
Ed Husic – Labor MP for Chifley – YES
Yes I have downloaded however I have publicly said if the claims about the protections and performance don’t stack up against experience I’ll delete it.
I’ve also posted about it here and here.
Gladys Liu – Liberal MP for Chisholm – YES
Ms Liu has downloaded the app. She has encouraged her constituents to do the same.
Fiona Martin – Liberal MP for Reid – YES
The COVIDsafe app enhances the contact tracing methods we already have in place to make it easier and faster to contact those exposed to the virus and contain potential outbreaks. Like many others in Reid, I was happy to take up the app because it helps protect the health of our families and community, but also because wide-spread use of the app will allow us to ease restrictions and reopen our economy.
The App is voluntary to download, the information collected on it is securely encrypted and no Commonwealth department or agency will have access to the data.
Fiona Phillips – Labor MP for Gilmore – YES
I downloaded the COVIDSafe app shortly after it was released.
There’s been a mixed response here from constituents. It seems many have downloaded the app, but yes, I am getting some concerns from constituents around privacy.
George Christensen – LNP MP for Dawson – YES
I have downloaded and activated the COVIDSafe app.
Glenn Sterle – Labor Senator for WA – YES
Senator Sterle has downloaded the app.
Hollie Hughes – Liberal Senator for NSW – YES
I downloaded the app the first day that I could. For those of us keen to see restrictions relax as soon as possible, the easiest way to see that happen is by downloading the app.
Anyone that has Facebook, Google Maps or a variety of other apps on their phone delivers far more data to multinational companies than this ever app ever will gather or be accessible by Government. And as soon as it’s deleted, so is all the data.
Jacqui Lambie – Jacqui Lambie Network Senator for TAS – NO (NOT YET)
At this stage, the answer is no – but if things get worse it may be worth considering. I don’t think any app like this should be mandatory. The government will need to reassure the public that once this crisis is behind us the data would be deleted and the app disabled.
James McGrath – LNP Senator for QLD – YES
I can confirm Senator McGrath has downloaded the app.
James Stevens – Liberal MP for Sturt – YES
Yes, James has definitely downloaded the app.
Jane Hume – Liberal Senator for VIC – YES
She simple answer is yes!
Janet Rice – Greens Senator for VIC – NO (NOT YET)
I haven’t downloaded the app yet and I’m still considering whether to do so. I believe the government should have keeping Australians healthy as its main priority and I can see the app’s potential value as an addition to maintaining strong physical distancing and other safety measures. But I’m still concerned about unaddressed privacy and functionality issues, and will wait to see the strength of the legislation passed by parliament next week before deciding whether to download the app.
Jason Clare – Labor MP for Blaxland – YES
Yes I have.
Jason Falinski – Liberal MP for Mackellar – YES
I have downloaded COVIDSafe. This app will enable health authorities to quickly identify and control outbreaks of Covid-19. For the sake of all those in the community around you, please download the app.
I will be ensuring the data is quickly destroyed and the app deleted as soon as this crisis has passed.
Jason Wood – Liberal MP for La Trobe – YES
Yes, Mr Wood has personally downloaded the COVIDSafe app to get life, family and work back to normal.
Jenny McAllister – Labor Senator for NSW – YES
Yes, I have downloaded the COVIDSafe tracing app.
I’ve said previously that this is fundamentally about trust between government and the community, and trust depends on transparency.
The people I talk to want to help contain the virus, but they also want assurances that their data will be used to keep the community healthy, and for no other purpose. It’s important that these protections are transparently set out in the legislation, and that the government is open about how the app is working.
Jim Chalmers – Labor MP for Rankin – YES
I have, I’ve downloaded the app and I’ve encouraged people close to me to do the same thing. Clearly people in the community have reservations about this sort of thing. We asked a lot of questions about the operation of the app. But I think in times like these, we do need to do what we can to make sure that if the virus does pop up in one community or another that we can trace it. That’s the objective of the app, and we want to make sure that it works, and that it protects people’s rights and privacy.
Jim Molan – Liberal Senator for NSW – YES
Of course I have downloaded it. It is the least we can do for the greater good of the Australian public. I have had only a few constituents who have expressed concern and I respect that concern. However, I will continue to advocate as strongly as I can to encourage people to download it.
Joel Fitzgibbon – Labor MP for Hunter – YES
Yes Zac, I have.
Josh Burns – Labor MP for Macnamara – YES
Yes, I’ve downloaded the app.
I have had a number of constituents seek advice on if they should download the app. Mainly due to existing trust deficits between them and the government – especially on transparency and accountability.
He also linked a tweet.
Josh Frydenberg – Liberal MP for Kooyong – YES
The Treasurer has downloaded the app on his phone.
Josh Wilson – Labor MP for Fremantle – YES
Yes, Josh has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Julian Simmonds – LNP MP for Ryan – YES
Julian has downloaded the app and is encouraging others to do the same.
He has spoken in support on his Facebook several times.
Julie Owens – Labor MP for Parramatta – YES
Yes Julie has downloaded the app. She has had a number of emails from constituents. Some have raised concerns about privacy, and others have questioned whether the criteria for tracking is appropriate and therefore whether the app will achieve what the government says it will.
Justine Elliot – Labor MP for Richmond – YES
Yes – I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Kate Thwaites – Labor MP for Jagajaga – YES
I’m on record as having downloaded it (it’s in my tweets if you want to see).
Karen Andrews – LNP MP for McPherson – YES
You can rest assured, Mrs Andrews has indeed downloaded the app.
Ken Wyatt – Labor MP for Hasluck – YES
Yes I Have.
Kevin Andrews – Liberal MP for Menzies – YES
Mr Andrews has downloaded the app.
Kimberley Kitching – Labor Senator for VIC – YES
Yes, I downloaded the COVIDSafe app when it first came out.
I downloaded it because I would hate to think that if I had coronavirus that I might, if for example at the supermarket, unknowingly infect someone else and might not remember or know whom I had been standing near .
Australians have done incredibly well in keeping the curve down. By doing so, our health system was not overwhelmed as we so regrettably witnessed in many other countries.
The next step toward being able to relax social restrictions is to give the health experts who are advising our state and federal leaders as much information as we can about the virus’ presence in the community.
We hope the government can iron out the kinks in the app soon. Though, given the job of rolling it out was left to the disaster prone Minister Stuart Robert, this comes as no surprise.
Kristina Keneally – Labor Senator for NSW – YES
Yes Senator Keneally has downloaded the app.
Larissa Waters – Greens Senator for QLD – NO (NOT YET)
I haven’t yet downloaded the app because I am reviewing the draft privacy legislation to see what protections it offers. This government has an appalling track record of data security, and has repeatedly released people’s personal and medical information to the media for political gain.
Lucy Wicks – Liberal MP for Robertson – YES
I can confirm that Lucy Wicks has downloaded and registered on the COVIDSafe App and is encouraging everyone to do so.
Luke Gosling – Labor MP for Solomon – YES
Yes. We have had no community transmission in the NT and I am doing everything possible to keep my fellow Territorians safe.
I look forward to the Federal Government providing all the information required to put minds at ease by answering the legitimate questions asked around privacy, so that the full health benefits can be realised.
Madeleine King – Labor MP for Brand – YES
I can confirm that Madeleine has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Malarndirri McCarthy – Labor Senator for NT – YES
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy has downloaded the app.
Malcolm Roberts – One Nation Senator for QLD – NO (NEVER)
Senator Roberts will not be downloading the COVIDSafe app at any time. Senator Roberts has concerns around trusting the Government, either Liberal or Labor, of the day. There are precedents of government overreach in the areas of our personal data security.
Many constituents are against the app, have expressed dubiousness about the government’s intent and this being another example of government’s intrusion into our personal lives. Constituents have also expressed concern over Amazon’s role in hosting the data. From a constituent perspective they are experiencing many unjust and unfounded heavy-handed, inconsistent responses to COVID-19 management between state and federal governments. There is also an absence of useful data available to constituents so that they can understand the decisions being made; either the layers of government do not trust their constituents with the data, or it simply doesn’t exist.
Mark Butler – Labor MP for Hindmarsh – YES
Mark has downloaded the app.
Mark Coulton – Nationals MP for Parkes – YES
As Federal Regional Health Minister, Mark is strongly promoting people to download the app.
Mark Dreyfus – Labor MP for Isaacs – YES
Mr Dreyfus has downloaded the app.
Marielle Smith – Labor Senator for SA – YES
I have downloaded the app. Ultimately, it has the potential to be a valuable resource in the fight against COVID-19 if implemented properly. That’s the key though – and that’s what I’ll be watching closely.
I hope you’re keeping safe and well during these difficult times.
Mathias Cormann – Liberal Senator for WA – YES
Yes I have.
Matt Keogh – Labor MP for Burt – YES
Matt Keogh has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Matt O’Sullivan – Liberal Senator for WA – YES
Senator O’Sullivan has publicly stated he has downloaded the app and encourages the public to do the same.
Matt Thistlethwaite – Labor MP for Kingsford Smith – YES
If it helps stop more Australians being infected and gets workers back in jobs then I am all in.
Mehreen Faruqi – Greens Senator for NSW – NO (NEVER)
Mehreen hasn’t downloaded the App – has tweeted about this.
Linked to this Tweet.
Meryl Swanson – Labor MP for Paterson – YES
You may have found Meryl’s Facebook post last week where she said she has downloaded the app and made comments on the post about it. If not, please do check it out.
Michelle Landry – LNP MP for Capricornia – YES
I downloaded the COVIDSafe app on the night it was released and my staff did too.
I urge everyone to download the app so we can get back to doing the things we love.
Michelle Rowland – Labor MP for Greenway – YES
Yes, Michelle has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Mike Freelander – Labor MP for Macarthur – YES
I have indeed downloaded the app as I believe it is crucially needed to help ensure we can return to a normal way of living whilst reducing the risk of additional outbreaks. I believe that by downloading the COVIDSafe app, each person who does so plays an integral part in helping protect our families, friends and fellow Australians from this insidious virus.
I have also written to the Minister for Health regarding concerns that constituents have brought to my attention, particularly the issue of the app not being compatible with all phone software. This restricts a large portion of our elderly population who are some of the most at risk and do not have smartphones, thus giving them issues gaining access to the app.
Milton Dick – Labor MP for Oxley – YES
I downloaded the COVIDSafe App last week when it was released, despite any reservations I want to do my bit to keep people in our community safe.
My top priority is getting people back to work and returning things to normal, and we can only do things by working together.
Nick Champion – Labor MP for Spence – YES
Yes I’ve downloaded the app.
Nick McKim – Greens Senator for TAS – NO (NEVER)
I won’t be downloading the app and I’d urge people to think carefully about their privacy before they make a decision.
This government has an appalling track record of data security, and has repeatedly released people’s personal and medical information to the media for political gain.
It also has an a long history of eroding rights like privacy, and of increasing their own powers during an emergency and never winding them back.
Scott Morrison only has himself to blame for people’s lack of trust in his government.
Nicolle Flint – Liberal MP for Boothby – YES
The COVIDSafe App is an innovative Morrison government initiative to safeguard lives and livelihoods as the nation continues to fight the coronavirus.
The more Australians download the app, the more certain we can be of our ability to track outbreaks.
I have downloaded the App in support of these efforts by our government to protect lives, our dedicated frontline healthcare workers and to help get hard-working Australians back to work.
Nita Green – Labor Senator for QLD – YES
Happy to confirm Nita has downloaded the app.
Pat Conaghan – Nationals MP for Cowper – YES
Yes I have downloaded the app.
Pat Conroy – Labor MP for Shortland – YES
Pat has downloaded the app and you’re welcome to publish that in your article.
Patrick Gorman – Labor MP for Perth – YES
Mr Gorman has downloaded the app.
Paul Fletcher – Liberal MP for Bradfield – YES
Minister Fletcher has downloaded it.
Paul Scarr – LNP Senator for QLD – YES
I have download it.
Scarr also attached an op-ed he wrote in the Queensland Times.
Pauline Hanson – One Nation Senator for QLD – NO (NEVER)
Senator Hanson will not be downloading the COVIDSafe app, although she respects the decision of all Australians to make up their own minds about the app.
Also linked to a Facebook post.
Penny Wong – Labor Senator for SA – YES
Senator Wong has downloaded the app.
Perin Davey – Nationals Senator for NSW – YES
A reasonable question.
I admit I initially had concerns about downloading the app until it was made clear to me that it is a method to trace contacts not a way to track movements. All it does is log if I have been near someone who is found to be COVID positive. So, yes – I have it on my phone. However, as a Senator based in regional NSW there are still some issues with connectivity and mobile service that may be limiting its uptake in the bush.
I am on the COVID-19 Senate Select Committee and will be hearing from the Digital Transformation Agency and I will be asking similar questions.
All the best with your article.
Peta Murphy – Labor MP for Dunkley – YES
Ms Murphy has downloaded the app.
Peter Dutton – LNP MP for Dickson – YES
The Minister has already publicly stated he has downloaded the app.
Peter Khalil – Labor MP for Wills – NO (NOT YET)
I haven’t downloaded the app yet.
I do intend to, because the app is necessary and useful to help us fight the spread of the virus, however I will only do so after safeguards around privacy are legislated.
While much data and private information is similarly accessed by Facebook and Google and other commercial entities (if not more) COVIDSafe is a government controlled app so government has control of this data. Therefore, unlike the commercial entities, this app is at least indirectly connected to greater powers of enforceability and surveillance which places it in an altogether different category.
This is why robust legislated safeguards must to be put in place. Draft legislation released on Monday, which outlined the enforcement mechanisms and penalties to protect against misuse of data, look promising but I will wait until the final bill is legislated next week before downloading the app.
I recently put a post up on Facebook asking for feedback on this app from my constituents, and many seemed to share my opinion and approach.
Phillip Thompson – LNP MP for Herbert – YES
Yes, Phillip has downloaded the app.
Raff Ciccone – Labor Senator for VIC – YES
I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app because it will help keep Australians safe as well as helping my local pub open their doors ASAP. I’m sure most people, including myself, could really go a pot and parma right now.
Rebekha Sharkie – Centre Alliance MP for Mayo – NO (NOT YET)
Rebekha hasn’t downloaded the app to date. That doesn’t mean she has ruled it out – it’s just that she only received the draft legislation the other night. Rebekha would like to go over the legislation and, like her Centre Alliance colleague Senator Rex Patrick, she has some questions she would like answered.
Rex Patrick – Centre Alliance Senator for SA – NO (NOT YET)
No, Senator Patrick has not yet downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Senator Patrick considers that the COVIDSafe app has the potential, in company with other measures, to help protect Australians and facilitate a progressive lifting of restrictions within Australia. However Senator Patrick is someone who regularly deals with complainants about Government and whistleblowers. The protection of his contacts is of paramount importance in relation to his responsibilities as a Senator. In this regard the Senator’s position is similar to that if journalists who deal with confidential sources. The current instrument that protects the privacy of Australians who download the app is derived from the stroke of a minister’s pen and can be changed in the same way. Senator Patrick also notes that there is legal ambiguity as to whether the minister’s determination precludes the use of warrants and subpoena under other acts (e.g. Crimes Act).
Senator Patrick is awaiting the passage of legislation through the Parliament which will replicate and enhance privacy protections before reconsidering his position in relation to downloading and using the application.
Richard Colbeck – Liberal Senator for TAS – YES
I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app the day it became available. I believe it is an important public health initiative that will help keep all Australians, our families and our communities safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure.
The app is Australia’s ticket to help ease restrictions and return to our normal way of life as soon as possible, including the activities that we as Australians love so much; sport, concerts and socialising.
Contact information collected from the app is only able to be accessed when a person is diagnosed with COVID-19. Uploaded contact information will be stored in Australia in a highly secure information storage system and protected by additional laws to restrict access to health professionals only.
Richard Di Natale – Greens Senator for VIC – NO (NOT YET)
We are currently reviewing the draft legislation and next week Parliament will have the opportunity to do our job and scrutinise it. I will wait until the legislation has passed its final vote before deciding whether I will personally download the app.
Richard Marles – Labor MP for Corio – YES
Happy to confirm, yes, Richard has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Rick Wilson – Liberal MP for O’Connor – YES
Yes, I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Rob Mitchell – Labor MP for McEwen – YES
Yep did it straight away.
We hoped it will assist in getting through this quicker and safer. I’ve had numerous complaints from people with older phones not being able to download the app as well. This is more prevalent with older people and those on pensions who aren’t in a position to afford new phones.
There has been various issues around downloading the app in rural areas that don’t have proper telecommunications coverage (thanks to Govt rorting blackspot program). There are many people who are very hesitant to download the app as many are worried about the misuse of their personal data and potential security breaches.
The Govt has not properly addressed these concerns and the Prime Minister needs to be very clear about what privacy protections are in place to stop the misuse of the information. Given the widespread distrust in this Govts ability to manage data and safely due to breaches in recent times has caused, it is vital that the Govt focus to rebuild trust with the Australian people and be very open and transparent around the issues raised.
Ross Vasta – LNP MP for Bonner – YES
Ross and his family downloaded the app when it first became available.
Rowan Ramsey – Liberal MP for Grey – YES
The answer is absolutely yes I have downloaded the app.
I have had a few inquiries from people who have had difficulty downloading the app and I have been able to assist and some have too older phones which cannot download the app – not much I can do about those. No particular group resisting, just the normal problem of people actually getting around to it. When explained most seem happy to come on board
Sam McMahon – CLP Senator for NT – YES
Yes I have.
Sarah Hanson-Young – Greens Senator for SA – YES
After considering the pros and cons and listening to the health advice, I have downloaded the app.
Sarah Henderson – Liberal Senator for VIC – YES
I was very pleased to download the COVIDSafe app which is vital to saving lives.
Scott Buchholz – LNP MP for Wright – YES
We need to all work together to stop the spread and support our health workers. He also included a link to Beaudesert Times article.
Scott Morrison – Liberal MP for Cook – YES
Writer’s comment: After the PM lectured the country to download COVIDSafe, it felt silly asking him if he really did have it. It’s safe to assume he does.
*This is why I sent 226 emails instead of 227.
Scott Ryan – Liberal Senator for VIC – YES
I have installed the COVIDSafe app on my own and ensure it is running.
Sharon Bird – Labor MP for Cunningham – YES
Sharon has downloaded the Coronavirus app. She has had some feedback from constituents around privacy and also around incompatibility with older phones.
Sharon Claydon – Labor Senator for Newcastle – YES
The answer is yep, she has downloaded the COVIDSafe app. She has also encouraged other Novocastrians to follow suit.
Steve Georganas – Labor MP for Adelaide – YES
Yes, I downloaded the app as soon as it was available. It’s another measure to keep us safe.
Stirling Griff – Centre Alliance Senator for SA – YES
I can confirm Stirling has downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Stuart Robert – LNP MP for Fadden – YES
The COVIDSafe app is an important public health initiative that will help keep you, your family, and your community safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure. As the Prime Minister has said, “downloading the COVIDSafe app is like putting on sunscreen to go out into the sun, it gives us protection as a nation… (the app) is the ticket to ensuring that we can have eased restrictions.”
We encourage everyone to join the millions of Australians who downloaded and registered the app to protect themselves, their families and their communities.
The use of the app is completely voluntary. No Australian will ever be forced to download the app and nor are employers allowed to mandate its use by employees or businesses allowed to mandate its use by customers.
The Minister has downloaded and registered the app and has received encouraging feedback, not just from within his electorate, but across Australia as people recognise the health, economic and privacy protections the app provides.
Susan McDonald – LNP Senator for QLD – YES
Susan downloaded the app as soon as it became available and also did media encouraging people to download it.
This stance was driven by her own experience with the virus and Queensland Health not being able to track down everyone she had been in close contact with.
Susan Templeman – Labor MP for Macquarie – YES
Easy to answer – yes I have it on my phone.
I still have concerns about privacy and security of data, however right now I want to see people being able to move about as much as health experts think is possible.
My local Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury economy was crushed by bushfires earlier this year, and even more so now. So if this app can help us reduce the spread of the virus when breakouts occur, then I am willing to support it at this time.
Tanya Plibersek – Labor MP for Sydney – YES
Tanya has already confirmed publicly that she’s downloaded the app, and has encouraged others to do same:
Linked to a Facebook post.
Ted O’Brien – LNP MP for Fairfax – YES
Ted is on the record within his community about COVIDSafe.
Terri Butler – Labor MP for Griffith – YES
I downloaded it on the first day.
Good luck with the story.
Tim Ayres – Labor Senator for NSW – YES
Tim made a Facebook post about his decision to download the app, here.
Tim Watts – Labor MP for Gellibrand – YES
I’ve downloaded it.
Tony Burke – Labor MP for Watson – YES
Yes Tony has downloaded the app.
Tony Sheldon – Labor Senator for NSW – YES
Senator Sheldon has downloaded the COVIDSafe App.
Constituents have raised genuine privacy concerns with him about the app, and these include people who have and have not downloaded the app themselves.
Tony Smith – Liberal MP for Casey – YES
The answer to your question is, Yes, Tony Smith has downloaded the app onto his phone.
Tony Zappia – Labor MP for Makin – YES
I have downloaded the app, but I am not convinced that it will prove to be as useful as it is hoped to be.
It is an untried concept so I am prepared to give it the benefit of my doubts.
Trent Zimmerman – Liberal MP for North Sydney – YES
Yes I have downloaded the app!
In fact I wrote about it.
Vince Connelly – Liberal MP for Stirling – YES
Vince both has the app and is actively encouraging all Australians to download it. We understand it passed 5 million yesterday as per Greg Hunt’s social media.
We will continue to advocate for its download.
Warren Entsch – LNP MP for Leichhardt – YES
Yes, Warren has downloaded the app.
Warren Snowdon – Labor MP for Lingiari – YES
Yes I have downloaded the app.
Wendy Askew – Liberal Senator for TAS – YES
Senator Askew has downloaded the tracing app and has been very supportive of it, encouraging constituents to download it too via social media and her email newsletter.
Also linked to this Facebook post.
Zali Steggall – Independent MP for Warringah – YES
Yes, Zali has downloaded the app.
We put this statement out though that analysed many aspects of the app.
This list is being updated as more responses trickle in. Please note David Coleman is on personal leave, which explains why he hasn’t responded.
However, a few of the 151 MPs and 76 Senators that make up our parliament didn’t get back to me. Looking at you, Albo and Bob Katter. If they change their minds, they know where to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org