Rules eased, kindness campaign launched, but vax rules are still a headache

By Jennifer Kent

SUNSHINE Coast Council has joined forces with Sunshine Coast Hospital and local businesses to launch a new campaign promoting kindness in response to growing examples of abuse over covid rules.

The campaign comes after GC&M News (February 15 edition) exposed the aggression cafes had been copping over QR code check-ins and vaccine mandate rules from a covid-weary public.

The ‘It’s Cool to be Kind’ campaign is designed to support local businesses and industry doing it tough as the nation enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign preceeded an announcement by the state government that QR check-ins would end this month.

But sectors including hospitality will still be required to ask patrons to prove they have been vaccinated.

That prompted anger from one owner who said there were “no words” to describe the frustration of still having to police the public despite the population being well over 90 per cent vaccinated.

Glass House state MP Andrew Powell said he was “at a loss” by the rules.

“If you book a private venue there’s no restrictions, but if you walk into a cafe or restaurant there still is,” he said.

“The inconsistencies are unexplainable.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the kindness campaign was about encouraging a positive culture.

Unbranded videos, posters and marketing content aimed at generating community awareness of the importance and benefits of treating staff and others in the community with kindness and respect, will be available for everyone to use from the council website.

“We know times have been tough, but many workers who are copping abuse have been providing us with much needed goods and services since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” Mr Jamieson said.

“They roll up their sleeves to help customers, clients and patients, putting on a brave face, giving us a smile as they go about their work. “Staff shortages and supply issues are having big impacts and ripple effects across the region and country, and no business wants to inconvenience their customers. “But some problems are unavoidable and staff don’t deserve to be treated poorly by customers.”

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies said : “We all have a role to play in keeping our community healthy and one way to do that is be kind to one another.”

Main image: Cool to be Kind campaign launch – Roz White, Co-Owner and Operator of White’s IGA Group and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson