Federal Labor signals support for vaccine passport concept

By Melissa Coade

Monday August 30, 2021

Mark Butler says Labor is willing to support a proof of COVID-19 vaccination scheme once all Australians are eligible to receive a shot.
Mark Butler says Labor is willing to support a proof of COVID-19 vaccination scheme once all Australians are eligible to receive a shot. (AAP Image/Morgan Sette)

The Federal opposition’s Mark Butler has indicated that Labor is willing to support a proof of COVID-19 vaccination scheme once all Australians are eligible to receive a shot.

During an interview on the ABC’s Insiders program at the weekend, Butler said that he believed the national conversation would soon move to what benefits those who were vaccinated could enjoy. 

“The precondition to it, of course, is that everyone has access to a vaccine,” Butler told Insiders.

“Still in Australia, too many people who want a vaccine can’t get one. These are supply problems that go back to poor decisions by Scott Morrison last year.

“But once everyone does have access, although it is a choice whether or not you get vaccinated, there will be consequences to your choice.”

Debate about whether offering vaccinated citizens incentives by way of freedoms from lockdown restrictions that non-vaccinated people do not has intensified over the past few days.

In order for a proof of vaccination scheme to work, Butler noted that more had to be done to design a system that could not be manipulated. He warned about the current risks of the ease with which digital vaccination certificates could be forged.

“There are already widespread reports of people’s vaccinations not being uploaded onto their register,” he said.

“This is going to be very critical, not only to get access to go to a pub for example — but if this is a condition of getting into an aged care facility to see your mum, or getting into a hospital to see one of your loved ones [who has had] a car crash, then this is very serious.”


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