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Premier of Tasmania – Does Josh Willie support mandatory vaccination for school staff?

8 February 2022

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Minister for Education

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Misinformation and Scaremongering, Josh Willie needs to reveal if he supports mandatory vaccination for government school teachers or not?

On the eve of schools going back, instead of using the opportunity to do something productive and encourage Tasmanians to get vaccinated, Mr Willie has criticized the government for mandating vaccinations for staff in public schools.

As of today, 96 per cent of the Department of Education staff have registered their vaccination status, which is a very high proportion and in line with the Tasmanian community’s world-leading vaccination rates.

The Department will continue to work with those who are yet to provide proof of their vaccination.

Importantly, there are nearly 1,700 registered individuals to work as relief teachers in Government Schools, and a number of retired staff have also agreed to return to work in schools if needed.

In addition, a further 3,399 people have registered interest to work in Tasmanian schools in other school-based roles, on top of some staff who are not currently in school sites but have agreed to return to work at schools if required.

Significant work has been undertaken in partnership with Public Health to ensure our students will be safe when they return to the classroom tomorrow.

The strong national Public Health advice is that the best place for students is in the classroom.

This stunt by Labor is another example of the so-called opposition sniffing the breeze without providing a position on anything or providing an alternative plan.

It was the same sort of opportunism Labor used ahead of the borders reopening, flip-flopping between demanding we open against Public Health advice, then suggesting, against Public Health advice, we had opened too soon.

If Labor cared about Tasmanian families more than trying to score cheap political points, they would support the strong Public Health advice which reassures families the best place for children to be in their normal learning environments.

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