Unvaccinated MPs to be barred from Victorian parliament

Victorian politicians could soon be brought in line with other essential workers under a tough new rule.

Victorian MPs who refuse to hand over vaccination records could soon be banned from entering parliament.

The lower house has moved a motion that would allow politicians who have not been jabbed from entering the building.

The state’s authorised worker mandate, which extends to politicians, comes into effect on Friday.

In a national first for Australia, state government MPs on Thursday voted to prevent unvaccinated MPs and parliamentary staff from entering or voting in parliament, with the motion to ban staff from entering the chamber if they fail to show proof by October 15.

The motion will also revoke security access.

Legislative Assembly MPs voted mostly in favour of the motion, with only one, Liberal Neil Angus, arguing the requirement to show proof of the jab was “undemocratic”.

“Medical apartheid will be commencing in Victoria in a few days time, Victoria will be a two-class society,” Mr Angus said.

“The moving of this motion and the issuing of public orders to effect this for the broader community clearly demonstrates this.

“Victoria will become a two-tier society. Unvaccinated people will be sacked from their jobs and will be excluded from the ordinary functioning of society.”

The motion will also be moved in the upper house.

The wider mandates are linked to Victoria’s state of emergency laws, which have given the government power to force entire industries to get the jab.

The state government announced it would mandate vaccines for dozens of industries across the state, forcing hundreds of thousands of Victorians to get the jab.

The list includes professional athletes, actors, journalists, teachers, hospitality workers, lawyers, police officers, faith leaders and personal trainers among other professions.

The Victorian government later added MPs to the list, introducing a motion to require they show proof of vaccination in order to enter and vote in parliament.

The opposition and the Greens spoke to move the motion on Thursday, with both insisting it not be expanded beyond February 2022, once vaccination rates were high and politicians returned to parliament.

Liberal MP Louise Staley and Greens MP Tim Read both aired their concern it was in contradiction of the constitution.

“I very much implore all those in this place to commit that when we come back in February we won’t have to consider such a motion again,” Ms Staley said.

“This is serious, we don’t seek to exclude anybody from coming to this place, representing their constituents or having the rights and freedoms we enjoy taken away from him or her.

“We do not come to this position lightly, but it is the right position. Leadership requires us to stand with the nurses, the paramedics and aged care workers who we are requiring to be vaccinated.”

Victorian Liberal Democrat MPs Tim Quilty and David Limbrick have publicly stated they will not show their vaccine proof despite both being vaccinated.

The pair earlier said the new rule was “undemocratic” and encroached on human rights.

Both Mr Quilty and Mr Limbrick on Thursday said they would participate in parliament remotely once the motion took effect, telling reporters it was in protest of what was a “profoundly undemocratic” rule.

“We think that this engages a new human right that we haven’t seen happen before where the bureaucrats can effectively determine who can and can’t take part in public life,” Mr Limbrick said earlier this month.

“We think this is a horrifying precedent, that bureaucrats can determine which medical procedures you need to be a democratic representative.

“We’ve got no problem with people choosing to take vaccines voluntarily, but we do have a serious issue around consent – it is only valid when it’s free from pressure and coercion.”

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