Queensland business group calls for vaccine mandates to be removed
With current statistics on the Queensland Government website showing 91.5% of the population full vaccinated, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) yesterday called for the vaccine mandate to be removed, saying that businesses have “a right to know what the state’s 90% vaccine mandate review included and what it meant for rules impacting their day-to-day trade”.
Data gathered by CCIQ indicated that business confidence in Queensland is the lowest since the start of the pandemic, with over 60% of business owners and/or staff members reporting mental health issues relating to the stress of COVID and ongoing COVID business restrictions and in some cases also the impact of recent flooding.
“A vaccine mandate review was promised when the state reached the 90% target, but to date, there had been no certainty as to what the review included, what it meant for businesses, or if it happened at all.” said CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan (pictured left). “Now is the time for government to level the playing field and bring businesses, their staff, customers and communities still operating under the vaccine mandates into line with those businesses operating without any restrictions. Interstate and international tourists can travel about the state, mask rules have been relaxed and the double vaccination rate is well over 90%. Businesses and Chambers of Commerce across Queensland are calling on the Premier and Small Business Minister to review these mandates. Business have done their bit, now the State Government needs to do their bit and deliver the review businesses were promised. We’ve been calling for this review since January but now businesses are desperate to know what’s next and how they can plan ahead.”
The Queensland Human Rights Commission also states that it “is concerned about human rights issues connected to the vaccine mandates imposed through public health directions and employment directives made by public sector employers. The Commissioner has heard from many Queenslanders – both through enquiries to the Commission and in person at a series of community conversations in regional Queensland – of their concern and frustration about the incoming vaccine requirements. The Human Rights Act places an obligation on the Queensland Government to act and make decisions in a way that doesn’t limit human rights at all, or only in a way that is reasonable. Several human rights are limited by these requirements. Under Queensland law, the government must therefore demonstrate that these limitations are justified.”
The Commission is currently pursuing the issue of vaccine mandates via the legal system.