South Burnett residents won’t have to be double-vaxxed to visit the Kingaroy Library 

November 26, 2021

The State Government’s vaccine mandates will not apply to South Burnett Regional Council-owned facilities such as libraries, town halls and swimming pools, according to a statement from Council on Friday afternoon.

The mandates – which affect unvaccinated residents using services which the State Government deems as “non-essential” – will come into affect on December 17.

They cover patrons of restaurants, cafes, hotels and sports stadiums (a full list is available on the Queensland Health website).

The SBRC statement encouraged residents to “seek advice” but refrained from encouraging residents to get vaccinated.

“Council strongly encourages and actively participates in all appropriate actions for the safety of the community and our workforce, and urges all residents to seek advice from their healthcare professional to make their own informed decisions,” the statement said.

“The safety and wellbeing of our community is our highest priority, and Council will continue to work with all agencies to navigate a workable path forward.

“Our community has contacted Council through large volumes of emails and correspondence, clearly expressing concerns about how small business and others in our community will navigate the mandates for unvaccinated residents from Friday, December 17.

“We understand these are challenging times and acknowledge the complexity of the issues.

“Council will continue to advocate for assistance for the impacted businesses so they can work through the upcoming changes.

“Council understands that all impacted venues will receive communications from the Queensland Government regarding public health directions prior to any rules coming into effect.

“Furthermore, we have been advised that Council will have no active role in the enforcement of these mandates.

“We will continue to seek information and clear guidance on any impact for council facilities and will communicate the same to the community when we become aware of them.”

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Paul Antonio
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio has called for “further clarity” from the State Government in regards to the restrictions but urged residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Since the announcement we’ve been getting questions from our community every day and these are the same questions we’re asking the State Government,” Mayor Antonio said.

“When the new rules begin there will be a number of people who might not be able to access a service that they’re used to having which is distressing.

“We’ve been working closely with the Local Government Association of Queensland regarding the evolving situation and in recent days received notification that Council facilities would not be included in Queensland’s vaccination mandate.

“On the surface this provides some clarification, however we’re still awaiting the public health directions to understand exactly how this impacts our facilities.

“For example, which of the many separate facilities operated by Council are still captured under other health directives that would require us to determine vaccination status before providing or restricting entry to the premises?

“This is the level of clarity we’re hoping will be provided to us as soon as possible. Once we receive these details we’ll be able to plan the impact this will have on our own staff and the members of our community on the facilities Council operates.

“I understand and applaud the Premier in the way she has kept Queensland safe over the past two years however the most recent changes have divided parts of our community, causing confusion and uncertainty.

“Council is committed and obliged to follow any current Queensland Government health directives and provide a safe place for its employees and visitors.

“While Council is bound to comply with these restrictions, we know the impact uncertainty is having on our staff and community and will continue to seek answers on their behalf.

“We will continue to work with LGAQ on this matter and keep the community updated every step of the way.

“As Mayor, I’m proud of the way our medical fraternity and community has responded to the pandemic to date. This is an ongoing battle which we’ve been facing for almost two years now and we all understand the toll it has taken.

“I would like to thank all our residents and strongly encourage all staff and members of the community, who are able to, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I’d also like to encourage our community to be compassionate to those who aren’t vaccinated as this is a stressful situation for all of us.”

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