Vaccine passports must end in line with National Plan

The Andrews Government should follow the National Plan and announce an end date for vaccine restrictions in Victoria.

At National Cabinet, it was agreed when 80 per cent of the population aged 16 years and older was vaccinated state-wide restrictions should end for all citizens.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said the Premier has turned his back on the agreement made at National Cabinet, made up his own set of rules and then thrown in oppressive Pandemic legislation for good measure.

“News South Wales announced that on 15 December 2021 vaccine status will no longer be applicable for restricting participation in society and the economy,” said Ms Bath.

“While in Victoria, Daniel Andrews has doubled down on vaccination separation, announcing it will continue in Victoria throughout 2022, despite leading epidemiologists and infectious disease experts backing an end to vaccine passports.

“Melbourne University Professor of Epidemiology, Tony Blakely says that at 90 per cent double vaccinated it would be unethical to keep people out of society, while Dr Nick Coatsworth, who was Australia’s medical spokesperson on the pandemic said excluding people from society was likely to cause more problems than it solved.

“The Andrews Government role is to proactively encourage people to get vaccinated and make the community aware of the risks of remaining unvaccinated – however when National Cabinet’s target of 80 per cent vaccination was reached, restrictions should have been removed.

“Victorian communities have overwhelmingly embraced Covid-19 vaccination and are leading the way out of the pandemic – yet the Premier is being divisive.

“Daniel Andrews’ stance is creating two classes of people and is fostering an environment where radicalism can take root.

“Many small businesses are feeling stressed enforcing the Premier’s vaccine rules, and many have told me they don’t want to continue to subject their staff or customers to confronting obligations, once the vaccination target is reached.

“Sadly, employers and their employees have faced abuse online and in person on a decision made by the Andrews Government – one which they have no control over.

“The best wall of defence against the virus is a high vaccination take up and Victoria is already achieving that.

“Projections show a vaccination rate around 95 per cent will be achieved in Victoria so it makes absolutely no sense to continue vaccine separation into 2022 – it’s cruel.

“It appears the Premier is more interested in punishing Victorians who don’t strongly agree with his stance than making a decision based on sound health advice.

“The Premier should be listening the experts and stick to the agreed National Cabinet Plan.”