Business groups urge end to ‘onerous’ vaccination mandates

By Mitch Gaynor

LOCAL business groups are demanding the State Government immediately scrap vaccine mandates for the hospitality industry. 

State parliament is this week debating extending the powers of the chief health officer until October 31. With a new wave of cases, there are fears that extension will be waved through with new changes to the mandate rules. 

It comes as agricultural show societies around the state cancel their annual events with vaccine mandates the driving force behind the decisions. 

Maleny Chamber of Commerce President Spencer Shaw has now joined chambers across the state saying the burden of forcing small business to effectively police state-implemented vaccine rules was onerous and had caused significant decline in revenue. 

“For two years our business community has survived and adapted as best they can to the varying restrictions imposed by mandates to assist with the prevention and management of the spread and impacts of the Covid19 virus,” Mr Shaw wrote in a letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. 

“However as we move into the phase of management where Covid19 is now endemic within the population and vaccinations are beyond 90% of the Queensland population, it is time to repeal the mandates that place an undue economic, legal and social burden upon the small businesses that are the backbone of our tourism based economy.” 

“The considerable social impacts of the mandate have been widespread in our community, with loss of employment due to either non-vaccination, but also due to a reduction in cash turnover of the affected businesses. 

He said the aggression of customers is something hospitality owners and staff face every day and “has been brought about by the imposition of this unwanted role of policing vaccinations by staff and business owners”. 

Mr Shaw said the scrapping of mandates would allow the return of “a degree of positivity and certainty”. “We need this so that our businesses and community are given back the ability to survive and prosper.”