Victoria’s parliament is preparing to impose a vaccination mandate on all staff, including MPs.
Last Friday, the Victorian government announced all authorised workers, including MPs and their staff, must have received at least one dose of vaccine by October 15 and a second by November 26 to continue working on site.
At the time, Premier Daniel Andrews said the mandate would prevent Victoria’s health system from being overwhelmed and protect the roadmap out of lockdown.
Labor’s leader in the Legislative Assembly, Jacinta Allan, said the parliament was still working through a process in which MPs would have to declare their vaccination status.
“I’ve been having discussions with MPs in the assembly, the opposition and crossbenchers and I will say we are working through these issues, constructively,” she told reporters outside parliament on Thursday.
“But I also think it’s a good leadership position for MPs to be upfront about the decision on the vaccination status, given we’re out there every single day pleading with Victorians, asking Victorians to get vaccinated to keep everyone safe.
“This workplace is like every other workplace, we’ve got to protect ourselves protect the people we sit alongside within the chamber, the great staff who work here.”
Ms Allan said she was fully vaccinated, as did her colleagues Treasurer Tim Pallas and ministers Lily D’Ambrosio, Danny Pearson and Richard Wynne who arrived at parliament early on Thursday.
A government spokeswoman confirmed all Labor MPs have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with the “handful” who are not yet fully vaccinated booked in to receive their second dose in the coming weeks.
Asked if all coalition MPs were vaccinated, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said all his shadow cabinet had received at least their first dose.
“It’s all – if it’s not, it’s only one or two that haven’t had their first, but I expect everyone to be done by the time that’s been set,” he told reporters.
An opposition spokeswoman later confirmed all but one party room member has had at least one vaccine dose.
“We are still clarifying that person’s situation,” she said.
Shadow attorney-general Tim Smith said he was fully vaccinated, as his constituents would expect him to be.
“I would encourage all Victorians to get vaccinated. That’s the only way out of this,” he said.