Friday 9 February 2018
Labor and the Greens vote against strengthening No Jab, No Play laws
The Andrews Labor Government and the Victorian Greens last night joined forces to vote against closing a loophole that allows up to 70,000 Victorian children to be exempt from the No Jab, No Play laws.
Under legislation introduced by the Andrews Labor Government, children who hold or whose parents hold a health care card, pension concession card or Veterans Affairs Card are exempt from the mandatory requirement to be immunised for kindergarten and childcare.
Parents can enrol these children under the 16 week “Grace Period”, ignore encouragement to get their children immunised and once the 16 week period concludes there are no consequences such as their children being unenrolled.
There are over 10,000 children in kindergartens and early childhood services who are not fully vaccinated. Victoria remains the only jurisdiction with ‘No Jab’ laws who allow an exemption for the Concession Care Card holders.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:
“Daniel Andrews had the choice to strengthen immunisation laws in Victoria or leave loopholes in place for anti-vaccination campaigners – he chose the latter.
“The Liberal Nationals introduced a sensible amendment to further protect the health, safety and wellbeing of Victorian children and it is disappointing that Daniel Andrews joined the Greens to oppose this measure.
“If Daniel Andrews was serious about further increasing the rates of vaccination Labor should have voted for this amendment, instead they allowed they allowed this unnecessary loophole to continue.”