Bill to protect children and boost immunisation rates

Opposition Leader John Robertson
Opposition Leader John Robertson JoJo Newby

THE New South Wales Opposition will begin consulting with the early childhood sector and the public as it drafts a bill giving child care centres and preschools the right to refuse unvaccinated children.

Opposition Leader John Robertson's gave notice to the lower house on Tuesday he was planning to introduce a bill to amend the Public Health Act 2010.

He said the legislation would have the effect of protecting children and boosting childhood immunisation rates.

"We can't allow a situation to continue where ... parts of the North Coast have lower vaccination rates than Rwanda," Mr Robertson said.

In a speech supporting his motion Mr Robertson took aim at the anti-vaccination lobby, accusing its of misleading parents by passing off "pseudo science" as fact.

He said doctors had a pivotal role to play in educating parents about immunisation.

"We know that many parents simply forget to vaccinate their children - this policy will act as a reminder to those families so they can complete a booster catch up program for their child," he said in a statement.

"I believe the health of our children and young people should come first, not the alternative wishes of parents who choose to ignore the advice of doctors.

"Parents who choose not to vaccinate aren't just putting their own children at risk, they are putting other people's innocent children at risk of preventable diseases as well."

Topics:  child care immunisations john robertson vaccinations

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