Unvaccinated Qld cops, teachers face sack

Fraser Barton |

Dozens of Queensland police and teachers are facing the sack for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in line with the state’s mandates.

The latest figures show 91.59 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had at least one vaccine dose, and 88.71 per cent two.

More than 99.99 per cent of Queensland Police Service employees and a “very, very high” proportion of teachers have also been vaccinated in line with the rules.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the department is making sure all teachers comply with the mandate, and that those who have not by the start of the school year on February 7 face dismissal.

“We have more than ample relief teachers to cover them and if by a certain date they don’t meet that mandate, they will be stood down without pay to show cause about why they should continue with the Department of Education,” she told reporters on Monday.

The deadline for QPS employees to have had a second jab came into effect on December 17, with a booster required for staff no more than a month after they become eligible.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said fewer than 100 out of 17000 staff had failed to get a second dose.

“So of just over 12,000 police officers and another 5000 staff members less than 100 (are unvaccinated) – so a really, really low number. 

“But nonetheless there were serious consequences for those people because they’ve been suspended and ultimately they face dismissal,” he told ABC radio on Monday.

No date has yet been set for the dismissal of those who have failed to meet the jab requirements.

Mr Gollschewski said that will be worked out pending court cases brought by some individuals against the mandate.

Meanwhile, some hospitality venues say they are struggling to remain viable and want to open to unvaccinated patrons. They are hoping the government will scrap its vaccine requirement for customers.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said she understands businesses are reluctant to turn away customers, but entry requirements for venues are not new or unusual.

“If you work in the hospitality sector, you know, there’s a whole lot of reasons why you can’t go into a pub or a club: it’s your attire, you know, you can’t walk in with thongs and a singlet on after a certain hour. There’s all those sorts of things,” she told reporters on Monday.

“So I don’t understand why they’re putting their staff at risk, and why they’re putting their customers at risk, by wanting to allow unvaccinated people into those businesses.

“It just does nothing to support the economy when you could end up with all of your staff infected anyway.

“The mandatory vaccination rules we put in place for certain venues and industries is paramount.”