As mentioned earlier this morning, the Health Services Union is calling on Australia to follow in the footsteps of the UK and scrap mandatory COVID isolation.
Gerard Hayes, the union’s national president, has told ABC News Breakfast that workers should be trusted to stay home if sick.
Health Services Union boss Gerard Hayes.
Health Services Union boss Gerard Hayes.CREDIT:EDWINA PICKLES
“We’re moving into the third year of the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve got a community that has complied with vaccinations, all health orders. They need to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”
Asked why a health industry union would be advocating for something that could potentially put more pressure on workers, Hayes said his position was all about “common sense and personal responsibility”.
“In hospitals over the past four or five months, particularly with the flu, the worst-case scenario hasn’t been realised,” he said.
“We don’t go to work with measles, chickenpox, we don’t want people to go to work with the flu. We need COVID treated the same as other infectious diseases.”
Climate independent defends fossil fuel shares
By Michael Koziol
Climate 200 independent Kylea Tink says she purchased “small shareholdings” in two fossil fuel companies to better understand their operations and potentially drive change from within.
Tink – who was elected as the federal independent MP for North Sydney in May alongside several other “teals” – owns shares in Viva Energy Group, which refines oil for Shell in Australia and owns Geelong Oil Refinery, and Beach Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production firm.
Kylea Tink said she bought shares in two fossil fuel companies so that she could be a shareholder activist.
Kylea Tink said she bought shares in two fossil fuel companies so that she could be a shareholder activist.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
The investments were revealed in Tink’s recently published declaration of interests, a requirement for all MPs.
Through a spokesperson, Tink told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age she bought small shareholdings in a number of companies “where she felt shareholder activism may be a way to both better understand the entities involved and potentially exert pressure from within to drive reform”.
Tink chose Viva Energy as she was “concerned the refinery was not being pushed to produce the highest quality fuel for the Australian market”, while she chose Beach Energy to “provide her with insight into how they were proceeding with oil and gas exploration”.
Read the full story here.
States split on question of reducing mandatory COVID-19 isolation
By Dana Daniel, Angus Thompson and James Massola
Australia’s two most populous states are divided over whether to reduce the nation’s week-long COVID isolation period, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet leading the charge to wind back the days people must stay at home, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews remains cautious about any change.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly will brief Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, premiers and chief ministers at Wednesday’s national cabinet meeting in Sydney on the implications of following the United States in reducing isolation from seven to five days.
But Health Services Union national president Gerard Hayes has called for Australia to follow the UK model, saying that mandatory isolation should be scrapped entirely and workers trusted to stay home if sick – arguing for “personal responsibility and community respect” to underpin the rules as workers struggle to make ends meet.
Albanese yesterday signalled that an end to mandatory isolation may be on the horizon, noting that daily case numbers are falling.