Local MP and deputy Nationals leader Steph Ryan says the Andrews Government must stick to the plan agreed to at national cabinet and end vaccine restrictions.
The call comes after Daniel Andrews again changed the goalposts on vaccine passports this week, telling the media: “this lockout process that only related to first and second doses, that’s not going to work because third doses are now a thing’.
Ms Ryan said Mr Andrews’ decision to keep vaccine passports indefinitely flew in the face of the plan agreed to at national cabinet, which planned to end all restrictions between vaccinated and unvaccinated people once 80 per cent of people over the age of 12 had received two doses of the vaccine.
In NSW vaccine passports will end on December 1.
“Daniel Andrews has no plan to end these restrictions, despite epidemiologists raising concerns that long term use of vaccine passports is unethical,” Ms Ryan said.
“The government should be doing everything it can to encourage people to get vaccinated and to make the community aware of the risks of remaining unvaccinated, but once we reach the targets agreed to by national cabinet, Labor must remove these restrictions.
“We are currently at more than 91 per cent single vaccinated, which means we will achieve our 90 per cent double vaccinated target.
“Labor’s refusal to commit to ending vaccine passports in line with national cabinet is entrenching fear and suspicion and is tearing communities apart. Aside from the ethics of creating two classes of people, it worries me that the government is fostering an environment where radicalism can take root.”
Ms Ryan said she was also concerned about the difficulties for businesses left to enforce the government’s restrictions.
“Imagine being a young employee working their first job, having to ask someone twice their age whether they’re double vaxxed,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Andrews Government’s reluctance to provide an end date to these restrictions is only further dividing communities, at a time when we are desperately trying to come back together.”
Ms Ryan said the nation’s leading epidemiologists and infectious diseases experts had backed calls for vaccine passports to end.
University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely has said that at 90 per cent double vaccinated it would be ‘unethical’ to keep people out of society.
The former deputy chief medical officer Professor Nick Coatsworth said that excluding people from society was likely to cause more problems than it solved.
Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett has questioned why people are banned from public settings when most cases of COVID transmission are linked to the home.
Infectious diseases physician Peter Collignon has described the government’s extended lockout as an ‘ethics issue’ saying ‘this is another example of a restriction that is overly prescriptive for little reward’.
“Daniel Andrews has given no justification for keeping long term restrictions on unvaccinated people,” Ms Ryan said.
“It is morally wrong for the government to continue these restrictions, creating two classes of citizens when epidemiologists say it is not needed.”