Compulsory vaccination for schools ‘on the table’

 

EDUCATION Minister Grace Grace has declared "everything is on the table" as she was quizzed over whether COVID-19 vaccines would be made compulsory for Queensland teachers and students.

But Ms Grace said she also expected the issue to go before the National Cabinet and for it to fall under the Federal Government's "auspice", as she spoke before a Budget Estimates hearing.

Education Minister Grace Grace. Photo Steve Pohlner
Education Minister Grace Grace. Photo Steve Pohlner

"Obviously we will address it as a government when we come to it," she said.

"It would be a policy decision of governments around the state about how we do this and I'm sure the department will enact whatever the decision is made.

"But I think the National Cabinet will probably drive a lot of that decision making about vaccination and compulsion to do so."

Asked what consideration the government had made to make a vaccine compulsory for school staff and pupils, Ms Grace said they would look at "what's available" and what the National Cabinet would do.

But she also said that "everything is on the table".

It came as she revealed the additional cost to her department in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, including an extra $22.3 million spent on cleaning from March 2 until the end of term four.

Ms Grace said a 20 per cent increase in cleaning expenses was also allocated to special schools with particular needs.

There was also almost $7 million spent on information technology-related costs - including $3 million in laptop purchases for students.

Grace Grace the Education minister, with Annastacia Palaszczuk the QLD Premier. Photo Steve Pohlner
Grace Grace the Education minister, with Annastacia Palaszczuk the QLD Premier. Photo Steve Pohlner

"There's so many different things we had to do to make sure that learning continued, that we accommodated our staff, we accommodated our students," Ms Grace said.

"It was necessary expenditure that I think that every single department of education around the country would have had to incur."

Originally published as Compulsory vaccination for schools 'on the table'


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