Danny O’Brien MP is ‘double vaxxed’ but he says the mandatory vaccination rules for authorised workers are an over-reach by the State Government.

TRADESMEN didn’t turn up.

Bass Coast Health currently has 41 staff members on leave, a significant number of them because they’re not vaccinated yet, others don’t intend to get vaccinated.

A local couple, who work at two different retail outlets in Wonthaggi, were both put off on Friday for not getting vaccinated – they’ve got a mortgage but they’re holding out.

The big chain stores locally have all had staff excluded.

Local shop owners made frantic calls on Thursday and Friday this week, when staff said they couldn’t work, to check on the rules relating to “authorised workers” needing a first jab by Friday, October 15, proof of a booking or medical exemption.

It hasn’t been “absolute chaos out there” as suggested by Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien when he spoke in the Grievance Debate last Wednesday in State Parliament… but it hasn’t been easy.

Several business operators we spoke to, who declined to be named for fear of backlash by anti-vax nutters and others, said they had also been affected by the authorised worker jab rules, down necessary staff for shifts.

And not necessarily because they didn’t want to get vaccinated, some just hadn’t got around to it.

“It’s just another problem we didn’t need right now, and we’ve become the meat in the sandwich here,” said one local café owner.

At Bass Coast Health, across its various venues including Wonthaggi Hospital, they are down 41 staff members, 29 still need to provide their documentation, eight are objecting and 4 are on leave.

“All aren’t rostered on at the moment or on leave,” BCH CEO Jan Child said.

“Bass Coast Health is a strong supporter of vaccinations for healthcare workers, the evidence is unequivocal,” she said.

Here’s what Danny O’Brien had to say in State Parliament last Wednesday:

“I rise today to grieve on behalf of the businesses and workers that have been left high and dry by this Andrews Labor Government in the past couple of weeks when it comes to its authorised worker vaccine mandate.

“This government has made panicked decision after panicked decision throughout this whole pandemic, and this is the latest one. Whether on the basis of health advice or not, it has created absolute chaos across our communities and the government has simply washed its hands and walked away.

“I am sure that those opposite are all there patting themselves on the back about a project that will not be finished for 50 years, but they are not even remotely focused on the issues that are affecting our business community, our workers, our employers and families throughout the state right here and now because of their decisions.

“Now, I want to say from the outset that I am 110 per cent supportive of vaccinations. I am double vaccinated. All of my colleagues are. We are also encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

“It is absolutely our way out of this process. But we do not support the mandating of vaccinations for authorised workers, which the government announced nearly two weeks ago with no notice and with very little notice before it was to be implemented.

“We certainly support it for aged-care workers, healthcare workers and those who are dealing with vulnerable people, but the wider mandate, I believe, is a massive overreach, and it is more particularly the consequences of that that’s playing out right now and that will play out more significantly over the next couple of weeks as those first-dose dates come up on 15 October, and 22 October and then 26 November, at which point every worker on the authorised worker list will have to be double vaccinated. I repeat again: I am absolutely encouraging everyone to go and do that.

“But we all know there is a cohort, and there always has been a cohort, that will resist — some of them for spurious reasons, some of them have genuine concerns, some of them are just unsure and need reassurance.

“However, this is having huge impacts across the community and particularly across the business community where businesses and workers do not know where they stand. And this government has done nothing to assist those communities, to assist those businesses — those small businesses in particular — to understand what the law is, to understand what the consequences are and to understand what their rights and the rights of their workers are when it comes to being vaccinated.”

To continue reading Danny O’Brien’s address got to: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Assembly_2021/Legislative_Assembly_2021-10-13.pdf

Who has to get vaccinated

From 15 October 2021, in order to work onsite at a work premises, you must be able to provide evidence to your employer that you have:

* received at least your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or

* have a booking to receive your first dose by 22 October 2021, or

* have a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner

This means that from 22 October 2021 onwards, you need to have received at least your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (unless you have a medical exemption) to attend work.

From 26 November 2021, you will also be required to provide evidence to your employer that you have received your second dose (unless you have a medical exemption) to attend work.

A work premises is anywhere you are required to be for your work outside the home (for example, a real estate work premises would include a home inspection, not just head office).

If you are working at or in any of the industries or facilities below, these requirements apply to you – including if you are:

* an employee

* a contractor (engaged by the employer or a third party)

* a volunteer

* a student on placement.

Workers required to be vaccinated

Select workers (including contractors, volunteers and students on placement) will be required to show evidence of their vaccination to their employer by a certain date in order to continue working outside their home.

The following workers who are leaving home for work:

o Accommodation workers

o Agriculture and forestry workers

o Airport workers

o Ancillary, support and welfare workers

o Authorised officers

o Care workers

o Community workers

o Creative arts workers

o Custodial workers

o Emergency service workers

o Entertainment and function workers

o Funeral workers

o Higher education workers

o Justice service centre workers

o Marriage celebrants

o Manufacturing workers

o Meat and seafood processing workers

o Media and film production workers

o Mining workers

o Physical recreation workers

o Ports and freight workers

o Professional sports, high-performance sports or racing person

o Professional services workers

o Public sector employees

o Real estate workers

o Religious workers

o Repair and maintenance workers

o Retail workers (including workers at food & drink facilities; licenced premises)

o Science and technology workers

o Social and community service workers

o Transport workers

o Utilities and urban workers

o Veterinary and pet/animal care workers

* Workers in residential aged care facilities

* Workers at construction sites

* Workers in healthcare settings

* Workers at school, childcare and early education services (plus outside school hours care services)

Authorised Workers (including volunteers) aged 11 years and under are not required to be vaccinated.