Glenorchy City Council to mandate vaccinations for staff and visitors

Glenorchy City Council today announced two directives requiring all staff and visitors to Council workplaces to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The directives, announced by General Manager, Tony McMullen in an email to all Council staff this morning, are being introduced to ensure the protection of Council staff and community members, and to ensure Council can continue to provide essential services if and when COVID-19 spreads in Tasmania.

“With borders now reopened we are seeing COVID-19 re-enter our state and it is highly likely to soon be in our community. We are taking this position to protect our staff and community to the best of our ability,” Mr McMullen said.

“We are prioritising the health of our staff to support our community at a time when they are likely to need us most.

“Council provides a range of essential services and it’s imperative that we can continue to provide them in the event of an outbreak.”

Under the new directives, all unvaccinated Glenorchy City Council employees must have booked their first vaccination by 4 January 2022 and received their second dose by 31 January 2022.

Staff will also be required to receive their booster shots within two weeks of becoming eligible.

Support will be provided for employees who meet the criteria for a medical exemption.

From 21 December 2021, visitors to Council workplaces aged 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated, and able to provide proof of vaccination.  These sites include the Glenorchy Council Chambers, the Moonah Arts Centre, Benjafield and Berriedale Child Care Centres and Council’s Works Depot. 

Visitors to other Council facilities are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated. Customers visiting the Jackson Street Landfill are asked to make payments electronically.

The requirement for visitors to Council venues to be fully vaccinated coincides with the Tasmanian Government’s announcement that from 12.01am on Tuesday, 21 December 2021, face masks must be worn by everyone aged 12 and over when in public indoor settings in Tasmania.

Mr McMullen said the decision to implement the vaccination requirements had been made after consultation with Council staff last week, and in consideration of public health directives and his duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

“An overwhelming majority of the staff we consulted, 85 per cent of the 235 responses, supported us requiring vaccinations for Council staff, volunteers and contractors, and visitors to our venues,” Mr McMullen said.

“Further to that, 68 per cent of staff consulted told us they would not feel comfortable working alongside an unvaccinated colleague.

“It’s clear that an overwhelming majority of our staff support these important measures.

“Within the Glenorchy community, we have a greater population of vulnerable people, and it is not only our duty, but our moral obligation to keep them as safe as possible. Vaccination may not eliminate the risk totally, but it’s the greatest weapon we have against this pandemic to date,” Mr McMullen said.

“Vaccination is free and easily available and is reasonably practicable way of reducing the risk of COVID-19 to our staff and people who come into contact with us.”