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COVID-19: Update from WALGA President and CEO
4 November 2021

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COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy – Outcome of Government Roundtable Discussions
Today, WALGA met with Local Government Minister John Carey and the Deputy Health Officer, Dr Clare Huppatz, as part of the Local Government and Waste Roundtable to provide input into the development of Directions which will give legal force to the Government’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination announcement.
WALGA, along with LG Pro, the Australian Services Union and other key stakeholders identified the need for certainty to be provided to the sector in relation to how the requirements would impact across all of Local Governments services and activities. 
Through the WALGA Breakfast Seminar: HR Responses to COVID-19 held on Friday 29 October, and ongoing discussions with the sector, WALGA were able to provide comprehensive and constructive input into the process. Presentation slides from the Breakfast Seminar can be accessed here. 

WALGA thanks all the Local Governments who have provided their input into this process, as this has allowed the Association to provide robust, evidenced based information to Government. 

It is anticipated the Directions will be released for Group 1 in mid-November and Group 2 in mid-December.  Until the Directions are released, there is no legal mandate regarding vaccinations for the facilities covered by the WA Government’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations summary

At this time, Local Governments can continue to promote and encourage vaccinations for staff.  In anticipation of the mandatory requirements, Local Governments should begin to consider how they will communicate with staff on this matter and collect and store COVID-19 vaccination information. 

The Directions will identify an employer’s requirements regarding the collection, storage and use of vaccination status information. We encourage Local Governments to review the Resources Industry Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions which were released this week as some similar wording may be used in the pending Group 1 and 2 Directions.

At the Roundtable, the Deputy Chief Health Officer identified that the Directions will apply to 'facilities' and those who are required to enter the facilities for their role.  For example: Group 1 – air transport - an airport is the facility, and the staff that are required to enter the airport to undertake their work would be covered by the Directions. This would include, for example, security staff, café workers and cleaners at the airport.   
The WA Government is currently considering how the Directions would apply to Volunteers for Emergency Services, for example bushfire volunteers and further consultation will occur in this area.

The Deputy Chief Health Officer identified that under Group 2, the building, maintenance or construction category was intended to cover large commercial building construction sites, because of the outbreaks in other jurisdictions, particularly in both NSW and Victoria, which had rapid spread of COVID-19 among workers, which then moved to their families and communities.  Clarification on whether Local Government road construction and outdoor works crews would be included is still to be provided.  WALGA will continue to advocate for coverage of these areas by the Directions.
WALGA advocated strongly that the appropriate regulator of the Directions is the WA Government, rather than Local Government.  Further clarity is required on a range of issues that Local Government raised, including whether the Directions will apply to Local Government infrastructure such as Recreation Centres and Libraries. WALGA will continue to engage with the Department of Health on these matters and provide updates to the sector when additional clarification is received.
For more information, email the COVID-19 response team.  Subscribers of the WALGA Employee Relations service can direct any specific employee relations queries to Employee Relations
Statewide Sector Vaccination Promotion #LGsRollUp
WALGA, together with other State Associations, will be promoting a Statewide sector promotion of COVID-19 vaccinations. For WA, this will occur on Friday, 12 November.
Whilst specific impacts of impending mandated vaccination requirements are yet to be determined, Local Governments can continue to support and encourage all employees and local community members to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

WALGA is encouraging all Local Governments to coincide supporting communications across social media platforms on Friday, 12 November to gain greater impact across communities in WA. 

Elected Members and Local Government staff may choose to post a photo of themselves outside a local venue providing vaccinations, highlighting the convenience and proximity of vaccination providers. If posting to social media, please use the sector specific hashtag #LGsrollup, as well as the State #rollup4WA hashtag as these posts will also display on the Roll up for WA website.

The current list of WA Health run vaccination clinics can be found here.

This list is being added to frequently and times/dates may change, so Members are encouraged to check back to this page closer to the time to ensure proposed venues are still suitable.

In addition to State-run clinics, vaccinations are also available in selected GPs, GP Respiratory Clinics, Pharmacies and Aboriginal Medical Services and Members are encouraged to explore opportunities to promote these venues as well.

In the metropolitan area, WALGA will host a photo opportunity to coincide with the New Councillors Seminar being held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is also a vaccination clinic. Those wishing to participate are asked to please gather outside RiverView Room 5 at 3:00pm to join seminar attendees.

Elected Members are encouraged to attend and show their support for the vaccination campaign.

Individuals yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination may choose to receive their vaccine on this day – it is strongly recommended they book via the Roll Up for WA website – while all clinics are now open to people to attend without an appointment, bookings are always prioritised.

For those who have already been vaccinated, they can also make use of Facebook frames or GIPHY stickers by searching for ‘Rollup4WA’.

The State has created a range of materials as part of the Roll Up for WA campaign to help share information across the community, including posters, social media tiles and newsletter resources. Click here to access the resources.  
For more information, email the Communications Team.
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