Rapid Antigen Tests should be provided free to all community members by the federal government, according to Gilbert Wilson.
Labor's candidate for the seat of Wannon in the upcoming election said he was concerned some people may not be able to afford to buy tests for all family members.
"The tests should be free for everyone," Mr Wilson said.
He said he was concerned a family struggling to pay the rising cost of living would not be able to justify spending money on the tests.
"It's a concern not just for the people who need the tests, but the whole community because we need to know who has the virus and who should be isolating," Mr Wilson said.
He said he was worried communities would be given a false sense of security if people with COVID-19 were not getting tested.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said tests for close contacts and those who are symptomatic are free.
"They have always been free," Mr Tehan said.
"So if you are a close contact, as recently redefined, if you are symptomatic, then you need to go and get a test from a testing clinic. If you are not a close contact, if you are not symptomatic, you do not need to get a test."
Mr Tehan said the federal government decided at National Cabinet on Wednesday universal free access was not considered the right policy.
"What was agreed, was a model to provide concessional access for tests over a three month period and they will be made available through the pharmacy network," he said.
"Anthony Albanese has said that all tests should be free but ultimately someone has to pay for them. How much would this cost? Did shadow cabinet tick off on it? Does the shadow treasurer agree?
"Our approach has a three month time-limit, is limited to 10 tests, is means tested and is funded 50/50 with the states as agreed through National Cabinet."
Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley said he was concerned about the cost of the tests.
"Given PCR tests have been free for every Australian since the beginning of the pandemic, changing the rules to require a test that we must pay for will only make things more difficult for Australians," Mr Grimley said. "It's ludicrous that the government has subsidised PCR tests at $100 a pop, yet at-home tests, which are one-tenth of the price, won't be subsidised.
"Any change to testing, particularly if it is mandatory, should not come at a cost to the public. "Everyone should have access to free RAT tests when they need them."
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