ACT News


Canberra Liberals to push for 'no jab, no play' laws while ACT Labor hopes to save Sunday pay

The ACT opposition will push the territory government to adopt laws giving childcare centres the right to turn away unvaccinated children.

Canberra Liberal Elizabeth Kikkert will call on the Barr government to support 'no jab, no play laws' when the ACT parliament sits on Tuesday.

Currently ACT children do not need to be immunised to attend daycare.

However if an outbreak occurs, any unvaccinated children will have to stay home until the danger has passed.

NSW, Victoria and Queensland require all children in childcare to be up-to-date with their vaccinations.

The Turnbull government has previously urged all state and territory government to ban unvaccinated children from childcare centres. 


The federal government introduced 'no jab no pay' laws last year, which means parents who fail to vaccinate their children won't be eligible to receive up to $15,000 in family payments. 

However the ACT had the highest rates of immunisation in the country.

Close to 95 per cent of ACT children aged between 12 and 15 months were fully immunised, figures from the December 2016 quarter show. 

ACT children aged between 24 and 27 months recorded vaccination rates of more than 92 per cent.

But Mrs Kikkert said the 'no jab, no play' laws were "good public policy" that enjoyed bipartisan federal support.

"It's alarming that Meegan Fitzharris would leave the door ajar on such an important public health issue. She needs to urgently clarify the government's stance on immunisation and vaccination to avoid harmful misrepresentation," Mrs Kikkert said.

"I will be calling on the health minister to heed common medical knowledge, consider the collective health of ACT residents and unequivocally express support for 'no jab, no play' laws."

Meanwhile ACT Labor will move to protect penalty rates, after the Fair Work Commission last month ruled to cut Sunday rates for retail and hospitality workers.

From July 1, Sunday loading will be dropped from 200 per cent to 150 per cent of the standard hourly rate for for retail workers and 200 per cent to 175 per cent for hospitality workers.

Fast-food employees' Sunday rates will go from 150 per cent to 125 per cent for full-time and part-time staff, and casuals will go from 200 per cent to 175 per cent.

Holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees in hospitality and retail will also be slashed from 250 per cent, or "double-time and a half", to 225 per cent.

Labor politician Michael Pettersson will file a motion asking the federal government to ensure workers affected by the decision "do not suffer financial harm".

The standing committee into education, employment and youth affairs has also opened submissions for an inquiry into insecure work in the ACT.

The committee will examine allegations that labour hire and sham contacting is being used to underpay workers and avoid entitlements and tax as well as the efficacy of current workplace relations laws.