WA Government mandatory workplace Covid vaccinations Part 1

 

Over the next several days I will endeavour to explain how the WA State government intends entirely lawfully to mandate Covid 19 vaccinations upon the vast majority of Western Australian employees. The starting point is that it is relying upon the following powers under the Public Health Act 2016 (WA). How do I reach that conclusion? The answer can be found at the bottom of this post where there is a link to precisely this use of power earlier this year to support its HEALTH WORKER (RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS) DIRECTIONS (No 3) issued on 22 September 2021 which expressly refer to these statutory powers to make such orders and issue such directions. It is to be assumed that the government will also rely upon these legislative powers to support its announcement yesterday the practical effect of which is that seventy five percent or more  Western Australian employees will need to submit to Covid vaccinations to keep their jobs.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH ACT 2016 – SECT 157

157 .         Serious public health incident powers

(1)         An authorised officer may do all or any of these —

(a)         close any premises, or direct any person to close any premises;

(b)         direct any person to enter, not to enter, or to leave any premises;

(c)         direct any person to remain at any premises for any period specified by the officer;

(d)         enter any premises and search for and seize anything for the purpose of investigating, preventing, controlling or abating the serious public health risk;

(e)         require a person to provide information or answer questions for the purpose of investigating, preventing, controlling or abating the serious public health risk;

(f)         enter and inspect any premises for the purpose of preventing, controlling or abating the serious public health risk;

(g)         require any premises to be cleaned or disinfected for the purpose of preventing, controlling or abating the serious public health risk;

(h)         require the destruction or disposal of anything for the purpose of preventing, controlling or abating the serious public health risk;

(i)         direct any person to remain quarantined from other persons for any period, and in any reasonable manner, specified by the officer;

(j)         direct any person to undergo medical observation, medical examination or medical treatment or to be vaccinated, as specified by the officer;

(k)         take, or direct another person to take, any action that the authorised officer considers is reasonably necessary to prevent, control or abate the serious public health risk.

(2)         A power under subsection (1) to enter any premises may be exercised without a warrant or the consent of the occupier of the premises or, in the case of a vehicle, the owner of the vehicle.

(3)         The period specified under subsection (1)(c) or (i) must not be more than 24 hours unless the Chief Health Officer has authorised a longer period to be specified in relation to the person.

(4)         A direction under subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), (i), (j) or (k) may be given to a class of person or in respect of a class of premises.

(5)         A direction under subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), (i) or (k) that is given to a class of person or in respect of a class of premises —

(a)         need not be given directly to the persons to whom it applies; and

(b)         despite the Interpretation Act 1984 section 41 (to the extent to which it applies), need not be published in the Gazette ; and

(c)         must be published in the manner that the Minister considers suitable in the circumstances of the serious public health incident.

        [Section 157 amended: No. 33 of 2020 s. 6.]

 

PUBLIC HEALTH ACT 2016 – SECT 180

180 .         Powers relating to movement and evacuation

For emergency management purposes, an emergency officer may —

(a)         direct or, by direction, prohibit, the movement of persons, animals and vehicles within, into, out of or around the emergency area or any part of the emergency area; or

(b)         direct the evacuation and removal of persons, animals and vehicles from the emergency area or any part of the emergency area; or

(c)         close any road, access route or area of water in or leading to the emergency area; or

(d)         direct that any road, access route or area of water in or leading to the emergency area be closed.

 

 

PUBLIC HEALTH ACT 2016 – SECT 190

190 .         Other emergency powers

(1)         For emergency management purposes, an emergency officer may do all or any of these —

(a)         enter or, if necessary, break into and enter, any premises in the emergency area;

(b)         search any premises in the emergency area and anything found in or on the premises;

(c)         take into any premises in the emergency area the persons, machinery, equipment or materials the emergency officer reasonably requires for exercising a power under this Division;

(d)         authorise the transportation, storage and disposal of bodies of deceased persons anywhere (whether inside or outside the emergency area);

(e)         contain an animal, substance or thing in the emergency area;

(f)         remove or destroy any animal, vegetation, substance or thing in the emergency area;

(g)         remove, dismantle, demolish or destroy any premises in the emergency area;

(h)         disconnect or shut off any electricity, gas, water or fuel supply, or any drainage facility, or any other service, in the emergency area;

(i)         take and use fuel, gas, electricity or water in the emergency area;

(j)         direct the owner or occupier or the person apparently in charge of any place in the emergency area to close that place to the public for the period specified in the direction;

(k)         turn off, disconnect, dismantle or shut down any machinery, equipment or other thing in the emergency area;

(l)         open a container or other thing in the emergency area;

(m)         excavate land or form tunnels in the emergency area;

(n)         build earthworks or temporary structures, or erect barriers, in the emergency area;

(o)         remove to, or, subject to section 191, detain in, any place or premises that the emergency officer thinks proper any person who obstructs or threatens to obstruct emergency management activities;

(p)         without limiting any other emergency power, exercise any serious public health incident power;

(q)         direct a person to give the emergency officer reasonable assistance to exercise the emergency officer’s powers under this Division.

(2)         An emergency officer may enter any premises in the emergency area without a warrant or the consent of the occupier of the premises or, in the case of a vehicle, the owner of the vehicle.

(3)         Without limiting subsection (1)(q), an emergency officer exercising an emergency power under this Division may be assisted by a police officer or other person.

(4)         Subsection (1)(d) overrides —

(a)         the Cemeteries Act 1986 section 11; and

(b)         the Cremation Act 1929 .

 

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