Resumed from 13 June. The Deputy Chair of Committees (Hon Robin Chapple) in the chair; Hon Sue Ellery (Minister for Education and Training) in charge of the bill.

Comments and speeches from various members

Clause 8: Part 9 Division 8 replaced —

Hon RICK MAZZA: Even though I empathise with the exempt child group, and I understand the importance of education, particularly early education, I am, as described by the minister, a purist on the protection of children from diseases that could be prevented through vaccination. I have real difficulty with the prospect of a child who has a medical condition that prevents them from being immunised being exposed to somebody who could be immunised but are not. So in that case, I move —

Page 6, lines 24 to 26 — To delete the lines.

Comments and speeches from various members

Hon ALISON XAMON: I rise on behalf of the Greens to indicate that we will not be supporting the amendment proposed by Hon Rick Mazza. I recognise the motivation behind it. I understand that the member has a particular concern that, where possible, all efforts should be made to minimise the number of children who are potentially exempt. I recognise that a number of people in the community share that view. Nevertheless, I have concerns about the children who potentially should be able to access vaccination catch-up regimes or, as I will talk about further on in this clause, may have other quite important reasons that they need to look at delaying vaccinations, including a whole range of complexities that exist from being a child. As such, it is quite important that these exemptions remain. I remind members that from the outset this legislation is all about trying to balance competing rights— one being the right to public health and the other being the right to early education. Unfortunately, the amendment as proposed tips that balance too far and, as such, we cannot support it.

Comments and speeches from various members

Progress reported and leave granted to sit again, pursuant to standing orders.


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