13/10/2021 - 16:08

McGowan planning more vaccine mandates

13/10/2021 - 16:08

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Premier Mark McGowan is planning to mandate more industries in WA to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the mining sector grapples with its health advice.

Premier Mark McGowan.

Premier Mark McGowan is planning to mandate more industries in WA to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the mining sector grapples with its health advice.

Speaking at a Housing Industry Association WA breakfast this morning, Mr McGowan signalled vaccine mandates would be a reality for more and more West Australians.

He would not be drawn on whether the government would make COVID-19 vaccines compulsory in construction, but referred to mandates in other states as a way to keep the economy running.

“We haven't made a final decision on building and construction, but we will put in place a lot more mandating across a range of sectors of the economy,” he said.

Mr McGowan said he hoped to make announcements on which industries will have mandates in coming weeks.

Earlier this month, Mr McGowan announced vaccine mandates for the state’s mining sector. 

He confirmed the new mandatory vaccination rule would apply to all those working across the state's resources sites, remote operations or in critical infrastructure; and would also apply to visitors to the operations.

The move, which was made based on the advice of the state's chief health officer, is expected to affect more than 140,000 fly-in, fly-out workers.

Employees will be required to have their first dose by December 1 and be fully-vaccinated by January 1, 2022.

Mr McGowan said the move was a natural extension of the mandating of vaccines in various sectors, including healthcare, hotel quarantine and the state’s ports, and followed significant consultation with union representatives and industry.

On Sunday, mandatory vaccines for WA's primary and commnuity healthcare workers were announced, with the first dose to be adminstered by November 1. 

Potential roadmap

He said WA may require capacity limits and masks when it opens up to NSW and Victoria, but state borders will only be lifted when WA reaches very high levels of vaccination.

Speaking at a Housing Industry Association WA breakfast this morning, Mr McGowan spoke about two Australias – the COVID free states including WA and SA, and those with COVID such as NSW and Victoria.

“It’s obvious it (COVID) is not going to be eliminated there,” he said.

He said the government was formulating the public health measures necessary for when WA re-opens its interstate borders, which was likely to occur when the population is between 80 and 90 per cent vaccinated.

 

 

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