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COVID-19: Update from WALGA President and CEO
23 December 2021

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Critical Infrastructure Worker Directions Released – Waste Management
The Critical Infrastructure Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions has been released which covers waste management and other critical infrastructure. The Directions can be viewed here.
As with the other Directions, whether a worker needs to be vaccinated relates to whether they are regularly (more than once a week) entering a premises covered by the Directions and they are a type of worker included in the Directions. 

The Directions apply to a ‘waste infrastructure site’, which has a broad definition and includes vehicles and infrastructure sites which collect, transport, receive, sort, treat, recycle, recover (including energy recovery), process or dispose of domestic or commercial waste. The workers covered by the Directions are those who work to provide services or perform activities in connection with a waste service. Those activities listed in the Directions include:
  • a driver or operator of a vehicle or equipment
  • technical or maintenance services
  • administrative duties
  • cleaning services, and
  • security services.
For Local Governments and their contractors, this means there is broad coverage for all sites that undertake waste management activities but not for workers who may be undertaking waste related activities at a site which doesn’t directly handle the waste. 

Example scenarios are provided below:
  • A driver of a waste collection vehicle would be covered because the vehicle is a waste infrastructure site (the definition of “premises” under the Public Health Act 2016 (WA) includes a vehicle) and the driver is a type of worker covered by the Directions.
  • A Local Government which has a waste transfer station and a separate administrative office at another site. Only those workers who are at the transfer station (or who visit a waste infrastructure site more than weekly) would be covered by the Directions.
  • A Regional Council has a landfill, where all of their operations, administration and education is based. All workers are likely to be covered by the Directions, as they are all required to enter a “waste infrastructure site” and all workers are “performing activities in connection with a waste service”.
Local Governments are encouraged to review the Directions closely and ensure workers are clearly covered by the Directions before directing workers to be vaccinated, and to seek legal advice if an interpretation of the Directions is required.
COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations
Yesterday the State Government announced that a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will become mandatory for all relevant workers.
The Office of the Chief Health Officer has advised that a further Public Health Direction will be issued regarding the third dose of vaccines and workers will be given time to get their booster shots.
Please monitor the WA Government’s COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination webpage which is regularly updated with new Public Health Directions.
Updated COVID-19 Records Management Guidance
The State Records Office has published updated COVID-19 Records Management Advice that can be viewed here.
The Advice includes information about collecting and maintaining vaccination status records and retention of records.
WALGA Office Holiday Closure
Please note the WALGA office will be closed from Saturday, 25 December and re-open on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.

Previous editions of COVID-19 Updates can be found on the WALGA website here.

Employee Relations subscribers may also access COVID-19 related information from FAQs and template resources in the subscriber section of the WALGA website here, noting users need to be logged in to view these resources.
Questions about the Directions may be sent to COVID-19 response team.
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