NT News

CLP pro mandate

- THOMAS MORGAN

THE Opposition has backed mandating the Covid-19 vaccinatio­n for frontline workers after a briefing with the NT’s deputy chief health officer Charles Pain.

The announceme­nt means both sides of politics are now in favour of certain workers being required to be vaccinated in order to perform their roles.

CLP health spokesman Bill Yan, who was briefed by health officials including Dr Pain on Wednesday, said it would support even entire industries being mandated if the chief health officer Hugh Heggie believed it was necessary.

“Based on the best health advice from (Dr Pain), the CLP Opposition supports mandatory vaccinatio­ns for certain sectors, as determined by the CHO,” Mr Yan said.

The policy statement comes after weeks of speculatio­n over whether the CLP would take the same stance as Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

Mr Gunner even labelled the party as “anti-vaxxer” during Question Time.

The CLP rejected the claim, saying they had not received a brief by the Health Department on the issue to form a policy position.

“We requested a briefing with the chief health officer on the day the Chief Minister made his ‘road map’ announceme­nt,” Mr Yan said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous it took more than two weeks for the Health Minister to allow the deputy CHO to provide a briefing to the CLP Opposition.”

Mr Yan called for more clarity around parts of the ‘road map’ for reopening announced by the government earlier in September.

“Territoria­ns need that level of detail, including how workers will be impacted, how the mandatory vaccine program will be implemente­d, what will happen to workers who refuse the vaccine and what legal advice the Gunner Government has been provided to be able to enforce penalties for noncomplia­nce.”

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