Victorian Chamber welcomes State Government stepping up and mandating COVID-19 vaccination for authorised work

01 October 2021

The Victorian Chamber welcomes the Premier’s announcement today that all workers in Victoria on the Authorised Workers List will be required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday 15 October 2021 to continue working on site, with their second dose due by 26 November.

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This mandate has been authorised on advice from the Burnet Institute and Public Health officials in the continued effort to move through Victoria’s Plan to Deliver the National Roadmap. This decision is crucial to protect our health system from being overwhelmed and to get businesses open.

The October 15 deadline is not applicable to workers who already have existing requirements under the Chief Health Officer’s directions – such as within construction, freight, healthcare, aged care, and education. These sectors will continue to comply with previous advice.

The Premier has also announced that a week-long Moderna blitz will commence on October 4, with 88,000 doses available through a number of sites, with a focus on the south-east. There will also be 13,000 first dose Pfizer appointments and 8,000 first dose Astra Zeneca appointments available through state-run hubs.

A recent Victorian Chamber survey found an overwhelming 84 per cent of our members wanted the State Government to make Public Health Orders requiring vaccination to alleviate pressure on individual businesses to determine vaccine requirements.

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

“Today’s announcement aligns with the Victorian Chamber’s advocacy on this issue, having been in discussions with the State Government for months around the crucial need for them to the use Public Health Orders to mandate vaccination across authorised industries to help businesses open, just as they have been used to keep businesses shut.

“This is a fantastic announcement that provides businesses with the certainty, guidance and protections they have been calling for and the Victorian Chamber is pleased to see this leadership from the State Government.

“Every Victorian who gets vaccinated is helping business to get open and to alleviate the pressure on our health system. COVID-19 presents a very different risk to an unvaccinated community than it does to a vaccinated community.

“Questions now remain around how employers will check vaccination status; if they are permitted to record and disclose vaccination status of employees; what is defined as a reasonable exemption; and how an employer should deal with exemptions.

“The Victorian Chamber will provide guidance to, and work with the State Government on how those issues could be managed.”

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