Unvaccinated Vic MPs could be banned

·3-min read

Victorian MPs who refuse to disclose their vaccination status could be banned from voting and entering parliament.

On Thursday night, the state government circulated a motion to upper house members stating they must prove they've received at least one dose of a vaccine by October 15 to continue working on site, or have an appointment booked before October 22.

They will also need to have their second dose by November 16.

"Any member who has not complied ... is determined to have failed to comply with an order of the house and is therefore suspended from attending the chamber and the parliamentary precinct until the second sitting day of the 2022 parliamentary year," the motion says.

MPs who fail to comply will also have their parliament security access pass "revoked for the period of the suspension".

If the motion is passed, the same rules will also apply to lower house MPs.

The Victorian government last week announced it would require all authorised workers, which includes federal and state politicians and their staff, be vaccinated with one dose by October 15 and a second by November 26 to keep working.

At the time, Premier Daniel Andrews said the mandate would prevent state's health system being overwhelmed and protect the roadmap out of lockdown.

However, it appears the government cannot legally enforce the mandate on Commonwealth employees, politicians and those who work in the legal profession, including judges.

"There is a separation of powers issue that goes to the courts and parliament but nonetheless we are working on mechanisms to make sure that every member of parliament complies with the same requirements that the public is expected to comply with through the mandate," Treasurer Tim Pallas told reporters on Friday.

"There will not be exceptions for members of parliament.

"There may be a different mechanism that is applied but make no mistake, the government is serious about not applying one rule for us and another rule for them."

Mr Andrews has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for his support in ensuring the measures are implemented across all workplaces in Victoria.

He asked Mr Morrison to use powers under the Biosecurity Act to "control workplace attendance by Commonwealth employees and officers", a government spokeswoman said.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said the government's vaccination mandate did not extend to judicial officers, court and tribunal staff.

"Nevertheless, internal inquiries have already shown that they have extremely high levels of vaccination," she said.

Justice Ferguson said Court Services Victoria, which employs court staff, was "considering measures that will require staff who attend on site to be vaccinated on the same basis as other authorised workers in Victoria".

Court Services Victoria will consult with staff on such measures.

Liberal Democrat David Limbrick, who is vaccinated, said the authorised worker vaccine mandate was "medical coercion".

Mr Limbrick and fellow Liberal Democrat Tim Quilty have said they will not support the motion for MPs, which is being debated in the upper house next week.

Without the support of the opposition, the government requires the backing of three of the 11 crossbenchers in the upper house to pass legislation.

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.

An opposition spokeswoman on Thursday confirmed all but one party room member had had at least one vaccine dose.

AAP understands Forest Hill MP Neil Angus is the Liberal MP resisting the push to get vaccinated.

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