McGowan mandates vaccines for 75 per cent of WA's workforce

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been mandated for 75 per cent of the West Australian workforce by the end of the year.

Employers will face a $100,000 fine if they are found to have employees who aren't vaccinated. Individual employees will face $20,000 fines.

Premier Mark McGowan announced on Wednesday that getting the vaccine will be mandatory for a long list of occupations, including workers at supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, post offices and hardware stores.

Child care and school workers, including teachers, must also have their first vaccination by December 1.

The mandate includes petrol stations, roadhouses and funeral directors.

It comes after the state government already made the jab mandatory for police, health workers and mining workers.

Those occupations, where the government said there was a high risk of virus transmission and vulnerability, must have had both vaccine doses by December 31.

By January 1, the vaccination mandate will swell massively.

Jabs will become mandatory for workers in supermarkets, grocery stores, and bakeries, restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, post offices, hardware stores, childcare or family daycare schools or boarding schools, financial institutions, petrol stations, public and commercial transport hotel, and other accommodation facilities, and the building maintenance or construction industries. They will need to be fully vaccinated by the end of January.

A third group will be required to get vaccinated in the event of a lockdown.

This group will include: people employed in bottle shops, newsagents, pet stores, wholesalers, critical conveyancing and settlement agents, government or local government services (where working from home is not possible), vehicle, or mechanical and mechanical repair services, roadside assistance critical forestry primary industries and factories, manufacturing, fabrication and production, Media Services, and members of the web Parliament, and their staff.

"It is proportionate and reasonable and is aimed at preparing Western Australia safely for the inevitable community transmission," Mr McGowan said.

"Today, we are giving vaccination a shot in the arm. We know the threat is ever-present. So much about this virus is unpredictable.

Employees will have to provide evidence to their employers - or both employees and employers face the hefty fines.

"We're hopeful we don't have to do it, but we'll have checking in place," Mr McGowan said.

"I'm sure the overwhelming majority of people will want to comply and do the right thing."

Health Minister Roger Cook said WA was "entering the final crucial phase, in footy terms".

"The final minutes of the game are the most dangerous, it's the time when you make mistakes.

"Our enemy, the pandemic, never stops - it doesn't fatigue... so we can't keep our eye off the ball. We have to keep working hard."

Groups 1 and 2 of industries represent approximately 60 per cent of Western Australia's workforce. With the addition of the lockdown group, approximately 75 per cent of the WA workforce is accounted for.

Currently 73.6 per cent of WA's eligible population have received at least one dose, with 55.2 per cent fully vaccinated. WA's eligible population is 12 years and over.

"It's vital people can continue working should community transmission or a lockdown occur, so that delivery of critical services is not disrupted," Mr McGowan said.

"WA's vaccination rate continues to climb, but people should not wait until the eleventh hour.

"We'll be undertaking close discussions with industries over the weeks ahead to ensure industries and workers understand the policy well ahead of the implementation phase."

This story McGowan mandates vaccines for 75 per cent of WA's workforce first appeared on Mandurah Mail.