Written on the 1 September 2016
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
My question is to the Minister for Families and Children. I am glad she is in the house this evening because maybe she can dispatch the concern that I am going to raise this evening. It relates to the no jab, no play policy and legislation that has been brought in by the current government. I for one am very supportive of immunisation. I think it is a very effective way to deal with preventable diseases and in particular childhood diseases such as measles, pertussis, chickenpox, mumps and the list goes on.Nevertheless, there have been some concerns raised with me by various kindergartens about enrolment obligations and the no jab, no play policy. I note in the frequently asked questions fact sheet that has been put out by the Department of Health and Human Services it talks about the policy, which came into effect on 1 January 2016, that applies to the enrolment of a child in long day care, kindergarten, family day care or occasional care, saying that parents and carers have to provide the service with an immunisation status certificate that shows their child is up to date with vaccinations for their age, is on a vaccine catch-up schedule or has a medical condition preventing them from being fully vaccinated. It also goes on to state in this frequently asked questions information guide:
Resources have been developed for immunisation providers and early childhood education and care services to ensure that simple, clear documents are available to facilitate enrolment.However, I do believe there is some confusion with some centralised enrolment bodies and also with some kindergartens particularly those kindergartens that have committees of management about who has the responsibility for the enrolments and the follow-up on the no jab, no play legislation by collecting the immunisation information. There is, as I said, some confusion about this, and I think it needs to be cleared up. So I am just wanting to get some clarification from the minister. Whose responsibility is it? Is it up to the centralised enrolment body to ensure that those children have the various requirements that I have spoken about to enable them to be enrolled in the kindergarten, or is it the responsibility of the volunteer parents in those various kindergartens that might be managed by a committee of management?
The PRESIDENT Order! Can you rephrase it as an action rather than a question, please.
Ms CROZIER Thank you, President.
The action I seek is that the minister please provide advice on who has the responsibility to adhere to the policy whether it is the enrolment body or whether in fact it is the actual committee of management that needs to see that vaccinations are adhered to and the policies are adhered to for enrolment purposes.