Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
With borders opening in just three weeks, Premier Peter Gutwein still refuses to provide certainty around the mandatory vaccination of teachers, police, other highly exposed public sector employees, and childcare workers.
Every other state and territory in Australia, except Queensland, has mandated vaccinations for teachers and childcare workers. Most have also required vaccination for police.
In Tasmania, education and support staff who work with children with disabilities are required to be vaccinated, but teachers and childcare workers are not.
Nor are police, who have close contact with vulnerable people, including children.
In early November, the Premier said a process was underway to assess the risk for each public sector agency, and identify which employees will be subject to vaccine mandates. Three weeks later, we’ve heard nothing more.
In Parliament today the Minister for Education accepted there will be COVID circulating in schools early next year. When asked by the Greens, the Premier could only say his government was continuing to look at the issue of vaccination mandates for teachers.
With the date for reopening our borders fast approaching, the community needs reassurance from the Premier that he is taking every step possible to safeguard children and Tasmanian public sector employees from the risk of delta infection.