ISLAND FORUM FOR CLUBS, CAFES AND RESTAURANTS TO EXPLAIN CHO DIRECTIVES RE BANS FOR UNVACCINATED NOW IN PLACE A directive from the Chief Health Officer of Queensland is as powerful as an Act of Parliament, says Member for Redlands Kim Richards, The MP as well as guest at a special ‘island forum’ of island clubs, restaurants and cafes called by Club Macleay general manager Julie Brooks. The request was made to the MP to inform the island industry of the regulations pertaining to the ‘directive’ introduced on December 17. Kim Richards brought along with her Dr Daniel Weston of Queensland Health and Sgt Graham Hedges of Queensland Police stationed at Redland Bay. Club Macleay and the industry were concerned that they were to carry the brunt and burden of the directive. The directive from the Chief Health Officer stated: “From 17 December 2021, many Queensland locations and businesses will be restricted to only fully vaccinated customers and visitors. “Customers must carry proof of their vaccination status and be prepared to show this upon request.” Representatives of just about every island club, cafe and restaurant attended the information session at Club Macleay, as well as representatives from a number of island groups and organisations. Kim Richards explained the power that is attached to a directive from the Chief Health Officer. “It is as powerful as an Act of Parliament.” She said it was in the interest of ‘everyone’ to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The MP added that the current status of proving vaccination with documentation would probably end when the state of Queensland attained 90% fully vaccinated status. However, she stipulated that the situation would be ‘reviewed’ by the Chief Health Officer at 90% fully vaccinated Dr Weston also explained elements about the vaccination process and its effectiveness. “Whilst you can still catch Covid 19 while fully vaccinated, its impact is considerably lessened. “Vaccination definitely protects,” he said. Island clubs, however, drew attention to some major issues, particularly for the club industry. Both Russell Island Bowls Club and Russell Island RSL pointed out the ‘difficulties’ in policing the Chief Health Officer’s directive. Deborah Gatenby of the Russell Island Bowls Club said: “We are a small club. This means we will have to have someone permanently employed just to police people entering our club. “Most small clubs cannot afford to pay for this. “Are we going to be compensated in any way?” she asked. The answer from Kim Richards was in the negative. Julie Brooks also raised the issue of multiple entrances to clubs. “Club members can attend our club for a game of bowls without entering the club at all. “Does this mean we have to have people stationed at multiple entrances?” This is clearly another issue for the club industry. Julie also asked if there was any form of training available for staff to manage entry of patron including checking of vaccination status, and would support be provided to businesses to protect staff from abusive customers? Several speakers highlighted the dangers involving people who might demand entry and prove ‘difficult’ for staff to manage. Sgt Graham Hedges advised clubs in these circumstances to advise that all forms of service at the club would be ‘refused’ and ‘request them’ to leave the premises. He said if the situation deteriorated, then make contact with island police to attend. To find out more, please go to to the Queensland Government website or exactly to: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/queenslands-covid19-vaccine-plan/queenslands-public-health-measures-linked-to-vaccination-status
• MP Kim Richards with delegates at the Vaccination Forum at Club Macleay.