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December 2021 Issue
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Vaccine mandate for hut wardens and campground staff

DOC community supervisor Leeann Ellis received a vaccination on Super Saturday

Hut wardens and campground staff at DOC facilities will not be employed unless they are fully vaccinated.

DOC health and safety director Harry Maher said new wardens and campground hosts will have to provide proof of vaccination before starting work, including volunteers.

“They’re not required to be currently vaccinated to apply for these roles, however, any offer made will be conditional on their acceptance to be vaccinated as soon as they can,” Maher said. “If this isn’t undertaken within a suitable time frame once eligible, their employment will be terminated.”

It’s expected this will affect about 50 workers. Existing unvaccinated staff may be redeployed to other roles, depending on the risk to the public. Staff who are either laid-off or resign may be offered paid or unpaid leave while they find other work. Maher said DOC wasn’t aware of any staff who had chosen to leave their job due to the mandate.

Meanwhile, at the time of publication, DOC said hut users wouldn’t be required to be vaccinated under the new traffic light alert level system. Under the system, access to bars, restaurants, events and gyms is restricted to people with vaccine certificates at the higher alert levels. 

Maher said “(although) ​​there is no requirement for hut users to be vaccinated”, people are strongly encouraged to be double vaccinated before using huts or campsites.

“The nature of this accommodation – often bringing many people together from all locations sleeping and eating in close proximity – makes full vaccination the safest approach. The feedback we are hearing is that most people staying in DOC accommodation would like the confidence that others sharing the accommodation are also vaccinated.

“We are continually evaluating whether there will be additional requirements for vaccination based on advice from the Government.”