NSW has surpassed its 70 per cent double dose vaccination rate target, which has seen the state finally emerge out of lockdowns and open up once again.

To ensure the safety of residents across NSW, the state government can impose penalties for any unvaccinated people who break COVID-19 rules – including thousands of dollars of fines to be paid by businesses who wrongfully allow unvaccinated people on to their premises.

Member for Barwon, Roy Butler, has expressed his anger at the NSW government’s decision to force vaccine compliance on local businesses.

“It’s an unacceptable burden to place on local businesses who have been through an incredibly tough couple of years in Barwon – drought, mice plagues and COVID lockdowns have put a fair few businesses on their knees – now it’s the burden of enforcing the government’s vaccine passport by stealth,” said Mr Butler.

“The new rules that come into effect on October 11 place businesses squarely in the firing line when enforcing the heavily-debated vaccine mandate which sees people who aren’t vaccinated excluded from certain businesses.

“Local businesses could be up for $5000 fines if they’re found to have anyone on their premises who isn’t double vaccinated.

“This threat places a heavy burden on them to police the comings and goings from their business.

“Many of my regional hospitality venues employ young people as wait staff or front of house staff.

“Putting the onus on a 15 or 16-year-old to challenge an adult – who may have very fixed views on vaccination, health privacy or the government’s orders – is far from ideal.

“I have called on the NSW government to make it clear and change the health orders.

“The responsibility to enforce these rules shouldn’t be on local businesses.

“If mandating vaccines is the path that the NSW government wants to go down, then the responsibility to enforce it rightly sits fairly and squarely with them.”

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