Concerns over vaccine mandate as Victoria records 1466 new cases

Melbourne covid reuters
A woman walks across a bridge in central Melbourne. File photo: Reuters
Victoria has recorded 1466 new Covid-19 infections and eight deaths, as farming and agriculture groups call for clarity ahead the looming vaccine mandate deadline.

The health department confirmed on Tuesday there are 19,627 infections in the state, after 68,509 tests.

More than 36,000 Victorians were vaccinated at state-run centres on Monday.

The new deaths bring the toll from the current outbreak to 101.

Agriculture and farming industry groups are calling for the state government to "urgently clarify" employer and worker rights ahead of the vaccine mandate deadline.

The deadline for authorised workers to show proof they have received or booked their first vaccine or have a medical exemption is in three days.

The Victorian Farmers Federation, AUSVEG VIC, Fruit Growers Victoria and a number of other groups have issued a joint-call for clarity around unfair dismissal, privacy rights and employer and employee obligations ahead of the October 15 deadline.

The groups have been speaking to Agriculture Victoria about their concerns, but they say "crucial" information on the vaccine mandate remains unclear.

Among their questions, the industry wants to know whether employers are at risk of being pursued by workers under industrial relations laws, and how employers can request for an employee's vaccination status without breaching their privacy.

"We're only days away from the vaccine mandate coming into force and many of our basic questions seem to have been placed in the too hard basket," VFF president Emma Germano said.

"Industry groups have been talking to farmers non-stop since the announcement was made and all of us just want to be able to pass on accurate information and support our growers in a timely manner.

"The Victorian government must publicly release further information and they need to do it immediately."

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