One of the few positive outcomes of the Covid hysteria has been that the world has improved its previously shameful knowledge of Australian geography. Today we’re talking about Victoria and I expect you all to know what that means. It will be on the test.
While the Australian Prime Minister promised there would be no vaccine mandates, state premiers are free to do what they want. Victorian premier Dan Andrews wants to make certain ‘authorised workers’ (those allowed to go to work under current lockdown rules plus some others) get vaccinated. They have two weeks to get the first jab or they cannot legally work anymore.
What jobs does this mandate cover? A local newspaper provides a handy list, quoted below. Victorian or not, see if your job is here!
Any worker at:
- A supermarket, grocery store, bakery, butcher, bottle shop, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger
- A restaurant, cafe, food truck pub, bar or hotel, whether licensed or unlicensed, but only to the extent that it provides takeaway meals or drinks or a meal delivery service
- A financial institution
- Consular and diplomatic services
- Court, tribunal or commission services
- Victorian Parliament, an electorate office or Ministerial office
- A post office
- A newsagent
- A pharmacy
- A petrol station
- Vehicle and mechanical repair services
- A pet store
- A veterinary clinic, and related services (on-farm visits and animal care services)
- Zoos and nature reserves
- An abattoir, meat, seafood or poultry processing plant
- Animal saleyards, knackeries and animal transportation services (including livestock and pets)
- Urgent services necessary for the health and safety of any person, animal or premises
- Immunisation or vaccination services
- Essential child protection activities
- A childcare, early learning centre, kindergarten, preschool or family day care provider
- A primary or secondary school
- a boarding school
- A ‘click and collect’ service
- A locksmith’s
- Carparks for the purposes of supporting an Authorised Provider or Authorised Worker
- Labour hire when servicing an Authorised Provider
- Laundry and dry cleaners
- Commercial cleaners in non-residential premises when servicing an Authorised Provider for cleaning services that cannot be deferred
- Pool and spa maintenance service provider when servicing commercial pools and spas, or those in residential apartment premises
- Hair clinics offering specialist treatment services to clients who have a medical certificate and require the treatment for health and wellbeing reasons
- Services that operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times. Solo work only unless additional workers are required for safety reasons. Permitted services are limited to: Outdoor maintenance, repairs, and cleaning, including at occupied premises; home installations (outdoor only) and home solar panel installations (only for outdoor work or in roof cavities with external access)
- Pet grooming mobile services that can be undertaken in a contactless manner (businesses with an ABN) and operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times
Any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of:
- An authorised provider
- Authorised health services
- Any interpreters, cultural or other support workers to the extent that they are providing support to authorised providers
- Funerary or mortuary services or related activities
- Marriage celebrant only if one or both the people being married are at the end of life, or will be deported from Australia unless the marriage takes place
- Elective surgery and post-operative care in health services in regional Victoria
- Emergency services, including both volunteers and paid workers in: the State Emergency Services; and firefighting services; and paramedical services; and ambulance and paramedics services; and air ambulance and medical retrieval services (including Royal Flying Doctor Service); and Victoria Police employees, Protective Services Officers and police custody officers; and military and defence services deployed for activities in Victoria
- State security or national security
- Essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety and wellbeing (whether provided by a public or private undertaking), and including construction, maintenance and repair of such infrastructure
- Critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety
- Personal trainers (with an ABN for this purpose) providing services solely outdoors and not at a residential premise
- Broadcasting online classes from physical recreation facilities (no more than five people at the facility)
- Broadcasting performances from entertainment facilities (no more than five people at the facility)
- Faith leaders broadcasting services and ceremonies at places of worship, with the minimum number of people required for the broadcast to occur (no more than five people)
- Retail goods workers supporting the operation of click and collect or click and deliver orders
- Health practitioners, including medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health students on placement, when undertaking critical training and examinations
- Allied health professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; Example: orthotists and prosthetists providing services such as fitting a brace post-surgery.
- Maternal and child health workers providing essential care to children under school age and their mothers/caregivers
- A person who is critical to, and involved in, the state’s COVID-19 response (including in hotel quarantine and vaccination services)
- Immunisation and vaccination providers including pharmacy immunisers and Aboriginal Healthcare Workers
- Roadside assistance services
- Local government-specific services, such as essential environmental health functions that protect the health and wellbeing of the community, and high-risk local law enforcement
- A member of Parliament and up to two staff to ensure minimal functioning of an electorate office
- Anyone required to ensure the Victorian Parliament can operate
- Anyone required to ensure the functioning of the Commonwealth of Australia Parliament
- A federal parliamentarian undertaking essential work to ensure operation of the Parliament of Australia (including attending electorate or ministerial offices for remote operation of technology that cannot otherwise be accessed)
- Public administration – regulatory services
- Domestic and commercial waste and resource recovery services (including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), including electricity services; and operation of energy systems; and gas services; and water supply, sewerage and drainage services; and liquid fuels and refinery services
- Specialised clinical waste workers required for the operation of primary clinical waste incinerators in Victoria
- Services to support ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance
- Commonwealth agency services, including Australian Border Force and Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services
- Judges, Associate-Judges, Judicial Registrars, Magistrates, Coroners, Tribunal Members and their offices for urgent or priority court or tribunal matters determined by the relevant head of jurisdiction, including for bail, family violence, remand, child protection, warrants and urgent guardianships, human rights or residential tenancies issues or any other priority matters, or for any remote hearings
- To the extent necessary to support the functioning of the court, tribunal and dispute services mentioned above: Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of Public Prosecutions
- Defence lawyers, Victoria Legal Aid, the Child Protection litigation office, Aboriginal legal services and other legal assistance providers; Courts Services Victoria, court support services and court registry services including security, cleaning and interpreter services; Other lawyers; Bail justices; Office of the Public Advocate guardians for high priority, highly vulnerable citizens and relevant staff; Justices of the Peace only as urgently required noting the voluntary nature of their role
- Services related to the administration of justice (including the operation of courts, prisons and Justice Service Centres) in Victoria
- All systems to support, maintenance and operation services required for DJCS and Victoria Police to support, maintain and operate Births, Deaths and Marriages, fixed traffic and mobile traffic cameras and Fines Victoria systems
- Administration of justice matters by legal practitioners for their clients where the matter cannot be undertaken reasonably and/or the client cannot participate reasonably in an online communication, teleconference or by an audio-visual link facility.
- Required pathology and forensic services
- Journalist and media services
- Feature film, television and documentary (excluding television commercials, student and corporate productions) that is already in physical production and operating as a closed set and post-production relating to it
- National Performing Arts Company Dancing studios for the exclusive use of Company Dancers only
- Specialist services at telecommunications stores to support telecommunications as a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Professional or high-performance sportsperson, workers that support the safe running of that person’s professional sport, and public broadcast personnel necessary for broadcasting the professional sport
- Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, with necessary participants only
- A factory or facility that cannot to be shut down without causing damage or loss to plant and equipment, but only those operations that are necessary to prevent that damage or loss
- Mining services including coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying petroleum production
- Building and construction services
- Pool and spa maintenance service workers when servicing commercial pools and spa or those in residential apartment premises. Solo work only unless additional workers are required for safety reasons
- Administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home – for example: Payroll and IT services
- Organisations that provide urgent services necessary for the health and safety of any person, animal or premises – for example: the performance of emergency plumbing services, Centrelink services and food banks
- Public transport, including taxis, ride-share services, and other public passenger services
- Air transport (including the operation of airports)
- Port operations
- Freight services (including postal and courier services)
- A transport, freight or logistics driver
- National Heavy Vehicle Regulator compliance activities
- A blood bank or other bank services for the collection, storage and provision of donated biological material
- Care services for people with particular needs because of homelessness, family violence, age, infirmity, disability, illness or a chronic health condition or other essential support services – for example: Family violence and sexual assault services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, Agencies carrying out essential relief activities, including Neighbourhood Houses
- Truck stops and roadhouses, but not the provision of seated dining or shower facilities to persons who are not transport, freight or logistics drivers
- Production and distribution of: disability and health equipment, mobility devices, including products for health patients food and groceries for sale by a supermarket, butcher, fruit and vegetable store, market or fishmonger (including for sale by operators of such premises at an indoor or outdoor market) Liquor for sale at a bottle shop Medical and pharmaceutical products Animal food and care products
- Commercial operations that supply goods or service necessary: for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 to support any business activity that may be carried out in accordance with these directions to support the export of goods and services from Victoria – for example: manufacturing of personal protective equipment or hand sanitiser.
- Individuals undertaking professional, scientific and technical services if involved in: COVID-19 (e.g. MedTech research including vaccines); Hazard monitoring and resilience; Biosecurity and public health; Medical or other research, which cannot be shut down and requires on site attendance; Critical scientific facilities – for critical scientific experiments, labs, collections.
The conduct of essential adult and higher education services pertaining to the following occupations and activities for:
- Training and assessment for infection control, high-risk work licenses and high-risk work credentials and construction induction (white card), that ensure workplace and public safety in permitted work premises or for permitted workers
- Study for final year pre-service early childhood and school teachers (including placements)
- Final-year higher education students (i.e. in TEQSA-regulated courses), who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end of year
- For the purposes of undertaking a prescribed examination or assessment, where not practicable to provide remotely, or
- To support service delivery on site for vulnerable students in higher education and training, where not practicable to provide remotely
- Student placements related to child protection; mandatory work placement in Allied Health Assistance in Victorian Public Health Services and Residential Aged Care Facilities
- First aid training where required for COVID response
- Study for health care workers (including clinical placements)
- Apprentices training with an Authorised Provider or Authorised Worker
- Clinical health and biomedical science (if required to be on site for the maintenance of essential research activities) aged and disability care (including clinical placements)
- Mandatory work placements in early childhood education and care settings subject to the supervision capacity of the host workplace
- Police Academy
- Defence and national security agencies;
- Primary industries only to the extent necessary to ensure animal rescue, adequate supply of food to, and care of, animals and maintenance of crops
- A hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to the extent that they provide accommodation services, including on a temporary basis for work purposes
- Services related to property inspections, settlement or commencement/end-of-lease (including removalists)
- Forestry activity for the purposes of or relating to: production of firewood for heating of premises production of pallets production of building supplies for construction production of other goods required for other permitted activities (e.g. paper, packaging, caskets and coffins)
- All manufacturing
- Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site where necessary for the operations of an Authorised Provider, or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations. The business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose. For example, production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services essential to the operation of the Authorised Provider.
- Union/peak body/employer organisation officials attending a worksite as permitted by law or for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) advice
A person who is:
- Critical to, and involved in, the state’s COVID-19 response (including in hotel quarantine)
- A fly in fly out worker or a drive in drive out worker who is required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of a competitive operation where the service is time-critical, who is responsible for critical maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to a region of, or to, Victoria
- Maritime crew
- A necessary individual for the purposes of the major event where that event has an exemption from CHO allowing it to proceed, including any workers and public broadcast personnel that support the safe running of the major event.
Farm, animal and bloodstock leasing activities, including:
- Farming activities and other operations relating to agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, irrigation, permaculture, apiculture, grains, fibre production, dairy, flower industry, commercial fishing, aquaculture and livestock
- Intensive agricultural production including; greenhouses and animal production
- Agricultural, veterinary chemicals and vaccine production, transportation and distribution (including the Pig Services Centre)
- Laboratory and diagnostic services
- Animal feed production, transportation, packaging, sale, and feeding (including livestock and pets)
- Animal pounds and shelters (no public access)
- Commercial cleaners in residential premises where necessary to aid the removal of waste in apartment buildings or for the duration an apartment building is identified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 exposure site
- A business or undertaking providing essential support services to permitted agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services and biosecurity functions.
Permitted Essential VCE assessments and essential assessment preparations for attendance onsite in performing arts studies at Unit 3/4 level only for:
- Dance (VCE VET)
- Music performance
- Music investigation
- Music performance (VCE VET)
- Theatre studies
Authorised health services
Any provider of:
- Emergency surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so expediently and safely will lead to the following outcomes:
- loss of life
- loss of limb
- permanent disability
- Non-emergency but urgent surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to a predictable and evidence-based outcome as follows:
- loss of life where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this
- permanent disability where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this
- where clinical evidence supports an increased risk of a type referred to in the above points should appropriate health intervention be significantly delayed
- Emergency and licensed non-emergency patient transport
- Any health services provided under the auspices of a hospital, urgent care centre or similar service including bush nursing centres
- Any health services provided by a general practitioner
- Any health services provided by a nursing professional or midwife
- Any health services provided at a hospital radiology service (other than routine screening services)
- Dental services undertaken by oral health professionals in the management of patients with urgent needs or care where failure to do so in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to adverse outcomes
- Procedures to complete:
- any cycle of IVF treatment that a patient has commenced before the commencement of the defined period
- any procedure required for the preservation of eggs for future IVF where required health treatment will render eggs non-viable
- surgical termination of pregnancy
- Drug and alcohol services
- The following allied health services:
- Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing urgent clinical care or as directed by the hospital
- Allied health workers professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical care (face to face appointments should only occur for urgent clinical care that cannot be deferred – routine face to face care is not permitted but may be provided via Telehealth)
- Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options;
- Students, medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth
- The conduct of human medical research trials
- The conduct of human medical research trials
- The following mental health services:
- The hospital emergency or inpatient psychiatric services
- Allied health professionals providing mental health services in hospital
- Private consultant psychiatry practice by telehealth, or by face-to-face (but only for urgent care where telehealth is not clinically appropriate)
- Allied health professionals providing mental health services in community settings by telehealth, or by face-to-face (but only for urgent care where telehealth is not clinically appropriate)
Did they miss anyone?
The vaccines are not very good at limiting the spread of the virus and imperfectly prevent hospitalisation and death.
A close analogue to Australia is Singapore, which kept cases low until recently then opened up due to achieving a very high vaccination rate. This is what happened:
Australia, which also lacks much natural immunity from previous infections, is likely to see a similar outcome.
The Australian public is not psychologically prepared for this. The vaccines have been oversold in order to increase uptake and people think they are a panacea that will make it all go away. When infection rates skyrocket, they may panic and force cowardly governments to lock down again.
And again. And again.
The government will seek to avoid heat for the problem, and the best way to do that will be to blame the unvaccinated.
What happens to the refuseniks?
Will they be unemployed forever? Will they be allowed to receive federal unemployment benefits? Will job applications to industries subject to the vaccine mandate (pretty much all of them) be enough to satisfy jobseeker requirements? Will they at least be allowed to leave the state/country, or will a vaccine be required for that too?
What will be their reaction to all this? Are there enough of them to effect damaging strikes? Will any of the vaccinated majority support them through sympathy strikes or refusing to present their vaccine certificates even though they have them?
Will anti-mandate protests grow, or fade away with the risk of unemployment? Will the proportion of refuseniks increase each time booster shots are mandated and the under-vaxxed are reviled as the new anti-vaxxers?
At the moment, most Australians probably think this is a self-solving problem because the deplorable anti-vaxxers will all die of Covid soon enough anyway. Some anti-vaxxers think all the vaxxed will cark it in a couple of years.
Soon we’re going to wake up, realize most of us still walk the Earth, and realize that we’re going to have to live with each other.
Vaccination rates are already high:
The goal for freedom was 80%, hence the dotted line. The state will probably get to 85%+ without any mandates. If that’s not high enough, nothing’s high enough. In fact, that is true: no vaccination rate is high enough to make Covid magically go away or for restrictions to permanently end.
What’s German for ‘vaccine’? I want to say, ‘Vaccine macht frei’.
This seems like a massive conflict over nothing, making the stubborn few dig in their heels rather than calmly wait and see before making a decision.
I have no idea how this will all pan out.
Far be it from me to suggest the whole, artificial bun-fight might be a cynical attempt to distract attention from the Independent, Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission’s public hearings into ‘serious corrupt conduct involving Victorian Members of Parliament‘. Just like Biden’s milder vaxx mandate in the US definitely wasn’t an attempt to cause a ruckus to distract attention from the Kabul debacle, although it did have that effect.
Not the end
This may not be the apex of Victoria’s Covid hysteria. When lockdowns ease and infection rates rise despite high vaccination rates, the government might go even further than it has gone thus far.
This fat lady is yet to sing.