City of Melbourne to vote on pilot vaccine passport system

City of Melbourne to vote on pilot vaccine passport system

Melbourne vaccine passport
Source: Chris Phutully (CC BY 2.0)
Words by Lucas Radbourne

The City of Melbourne will vote next week on advocating to the Victorian government to pilot the upcoming 'vaccine passport' or health pass.

Melbourne, which is about to become the longest locked-down city on the planet, is likely to become the first city to trial the vaccine passport system, otherwise known as a health pass. City of Melbourne council will vote on lobbying for the system on September 21.

A vaccine passport rollout would see fully vaccinated Australians are able to scan a QR code with their vaccination status in order to enter bars, restaurants and other venues. Here’s more about how a vaccine passport would work.

The Victorian government has led the feasibility studies into the system, which is now being discussed by the federal government.

What you need to know

  • City of Melbourne will vote on advocating to pilot the vaccine passport system
  • Then, it’s up to the federal and state governments to approve the rollout
  • The council vote will be held on September 21

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

City of Melbourne councillors will consider the introduction of a health pass system to safely reopen hospitality, arts and entertainment venues sooner and “bring back the buzz.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said councillors will vote next week on advocating to the Victorian Government to become one of the first municipalities in the state to pilot the temporary scheme.

“The City of Melbourne has been doing everything it can to get more Victorians vaccinated because it’s the path to reopening our city,” the lord mayor said.

“The introduction of the proposed health pass would allow vaccinated and exempt Melburnians to enter participating restaurants, pubs, clubs and other venues. All staff at participating businesses will need be vaccinated to be part of the scheme.

“Nowhere in Australia has been hit harder by devastating lockdowns than Melbourne, and our businesses should be the first in line to reopen safely. They’re prepared to do whatever it takes.”

The Night Time Economy Advisory Committee (NTEAC), made up of leaders from the sector, is championing the pilot program, and calling on the Victorian Government to let them reopen sooner.

The Lord Mayor said the pilot could provide an opportunity to test, learn and gather feedback in order to refine the system for the whole of Victoria, while providing an extra incentive for eligible Victorians to get vaccinated.

City Activation portfolio lead, Councillor Roshena Campbell, said the time was right to explore options to safely reopen city businesses to protect livelihoods.

“Our city’s businesses have been crippled after six lockdowns and the earlier businesses can reopen, the quicker our city can recover,” Cr Campbell said.

“This is a temporary measure that will get our businesses back on their feet sooner while we continue to work towards vaccination targets.”

Councillors will vote on whether they will advocate for the health pass at the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 21 September. The scheme would operate until vaccination levels are sufficient to lift health restrictions.

Stay up to date with the City of Melbourne council here.