Geraldton Mayor calls for clear vaccine mandate rules

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn has called for clarification of rules regarding the vaccination of City staff, which he said are “all over the show”.

The City employs people who fall into categories one and two of workplace jab mandates, meaning some of the staff were required to be double-dosed by December 31, while others — who are now required to have a single dose — have until the end of the month to reach full vaccination status.

Mr Van Styn said this discrepancy meant City staff were regularly entering places where category one applies, but they were still not required to be fully vaccinated.

“To give an example, if you’re on the town planning team, you’re required to be fully vaxxed even if you stay in the office, but the reception staff aren’t. The town planners spend a lot of time at the front desk, so do they have to be vaccinated or not?”

“Gardeners don’t have to be, but Aquarena staff do. . . It’s all over the show.”

He said the City had attempted to seek clarification from the Department of Health, but their response has been to “seek legal advice”.

“The rules are incredibly complicated and nobody seems to be able to give a straight answer. The Health Department themselves can’t tell us what we’re supposed to do either, and they’re the one’s making the rules,” the mayor said.

Mr Van Styn said the confusion was not having a significant effect on the City’s day-to-day operations, and that category two staff were still able to perform their duties. However, some uncertainty remains for critical areas.

“With the onset of bushfire season, are we going to have to tell firefighters they can’t fight fires? At the moment that’s what it looks like,” he said.

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