South Australia’s peak business group has called for wider vaccine mandates to better protect frontline staff and maintain the state’s strong status for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business SA says mandates should include those industry sectors and worksites that have public-facing staff and where social distancing is not possible.
“We recognise that not everyone will support a broader sector-specific vaccine mandate,” chief executive Martin Haese said.
“But with over 80 per cent of South Australia already having had their first dose, those in opposition are definitely in the minority.”
SA currently mandates vaccines for aged care and public and private health workers, but has so far resisted moves to extend that to teachers or to specific industries.
Premier Steven Marshall said SA would continue to put mandates in place if there was specific health advice or if there was an agreement of the national cabinet.
But he said he was happy with the current rate of vaccinations across the state.
“I’m actually quite satisfied that the people of South Australia, without making it mandatory, see the benefits,” he said.
“This remains a disease, essentially of the unvaccinated. The statistics speak for themselves.”