Mandatory vaccination directions for workers – Part 4

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Where are the Covid Mandatory Vaccination directions heading?
As Victoria heads out of lockdown, why are workers suddenly forced to get vaccinated?

Where are we up to with the mandatory vaccination directions?

I thought I would look at the DHHS website to see if they had posted a new set of directions for mandatory vaccinations of workers, given that the ones imposed less than two weeks ago were due to expire.

As I said in Part 3 of this post, I think there were significant legal flaws in the previous Directions no 3.

There’s a new one – it popped up yesterday and expires tomorrow

I was surprised to see another Direction, no 4, which was only made yesterday, and expires tomorrow.

That’s a Direction, under the State of Emergency, that’s only there for 2 days.

That means that the Chief Health Officer was supposed to form the requisite statutory intention, as I described in Part 2, that the direction was “reasonably necessary to protect public health”, for those two days.

The Directions, called the “Covid-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions (No 4)” are 28 pages long.

I can’t see anything substantially different in them, except for a reference to oral examinations and the IB program. But I haven’t done a line by line comparison.

There should be consultation and transparency about how we are governed

When legislation is made, as I have mentioned in this series, there is a process which includes consultation and explanation to Parliament and to members of the public.

An Act might be passed which amends a previous Act. It’s quite easy to trace back and work out what has happened. The Amending Act will say something like “section 2 is amended to include section 2(1)…” And then the poor lawyers, citizens and others will be able to know what has changed. They won’t have to read a long document and try to find out what has changed. It will be obvious.

That’s good, in a democracy, to have a certain level of transparency when legislation is made or amended.

But that’s one difference between legislation and these CHO directions.

In those 28 pages, how are we supposed to know what has changed? Was there any consultation or explanation?

I realise that these are supposed to be emergency powers, and that we have been in an almost constant state of panic for over 18 months in Victoria. But surely the public has a right to know what is different between the constantly changing sets of directions.

Especially when you are imposing obligations to get mandatory vaccinations – an apparent breach of or incompatibility with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act.

And the same questions will arise when the next Directions are issued.

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