Home NewsAustralia Why this farmer won’t be counting any chickens once the vaccine mandate hits

Why this farmer won’t be counting any chickens once the vaccine mandate hits

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In only a matter of weeks, Jeff Pow will shut his small enterprise in regional Western Australia as a result of all of his staff are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Underneath the WA Authorities’s office vaccine mandate, employees in various high-risk industries shall be required to have had at least one dose by December 1, together with meat employees and group care workers.

In line with a brand new survey by the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Trade WA, extra than 40 per cent of nation companies say they anticipate to be adversely affected by the mandate.

Mr Pow, who runs a small chicken farm and abattoir in Balingup in WA’s South West, which processes 12,000 birds a yr, is one in every of them.

He’s vaccinated however stated he had been unable to persuade any of his 5 workers to observe swimsuit.

Now, he stated, there was not sufficient time to recruit half a dozen new workers forward of the mandate coming into impact.

“We’ll have to shut,” he stated
“There shall be no extra poultry popping out of our farm nor any of the farms which can be accessing our facility as effectively.

a man stands on a wet concrete slab beside a shipping container
Jeff Pow says you may’t discover skilled employees at quick discover, so he’ll have to shut his enterprise.(ABC Information: Bridget Fitzgerald)

Mr Pow stated it was already troublesome to search out expert employees for the South West abattoir.

“We’re fairly quick on employees within the agriculture sector. You possibly can’t simply entrance as much as an accepted well being facility to work within the harvesting and processing of chickens for rooster meat,” he stated.

No exemptions for companies

Mr Pow stated companies ought to be capable of apply for an exemption to the mandate — an concept which has been knocked again by WA’s Regional Improvement Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

A middle-aged woman stands on a balcony with green tree leaves behind her
WA Regional Improvement Minister Alannah MacTiernan has dominated out exceptions for companies however says there are different choices to supply expert employees.(ABC South West: Jacqueline Lynch)

Nevertheless, Ms MacTiernan stated she would work with regional companies to search out different options, resembling bringing in employees from the South Pacific.

She admitted the mandate would trigger some points, however stated it was within the curiosity of public well being.

“We are going to see these issues rising in all places however the greater downside shall be if COVID comes into the state and begins spreading,” she stated

Area-wide impacts

The ABC has spoken to different companies in regional WA who are also trying to find new workers or closing down due to the vaccine mandate.

The Regional Chamber of Commerce and Trade WA’s newest survey reveals 43 per cent of companies are bracing themselves for some troublesome months forward. 

“They’re frightened they will lose workers, they’re frightened they will lose income,” CEO Kitty Prodonovich stated. 

A woman wearing glasses and a floral shirt smiles at the camera.
CEO of the Regional Chambers of Commerce WA Kitty Prodonovich says greater than 40 per cent of nation companies shall be adversely impacted by the mandate.(ABC Information: Julian Robins)

Ms Prodonovich stated whereas huge companies may handle dropping workers, it was tougher for small companies. 

“We’re listening to from each kind of enterprise, in each kind of business,” she stated. 

She stated the state wanted  to herald extra employees from abroad.

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WA’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap

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