- Council in WA’s Pilbara region to launch legal action against vaccine mandates
- Majority of councillors at Port Hedland council voted in favour of going to court
- Council received legal advice that warned the case could damage its reputation
- Western Australia has highest third jab rate of any Australian state or territory
A council in Western Australia will launch legal action against state vaccination mandates introduced by Premier Mark McGowan’s government.
The Port Hedland Council is aiming to overturn rules that require about 75 per cent of Western Australia to be vaccinated if they want to remain employed.
Western Australia has the toughest Covid rules in Australia, with vaccination mandates covering workers in mining, retail, hospitality and construction.
A council in Western Australia will launch legal action against state vaccination mandates introduced by Premier Mark McGowan’s government (pictured, the premier on May 16)
The Port Hedland Council is aiming to overturn rules that require about 75 per cent of Western Australia to be vaccinated if they want to remain employed (pictured, a woman is vaccinated)
The council last week passed a series of proposals put forward by the community with the aim of repealing vaccine mandates, The Australian reports.
Port Hedland will vote in favour of launching a Supreme Court action despite being warned in legal advice the case would be ‘extremely expensive’.
Councillors were also told their case would have a limited likelihood of success and would require powers beyond the council’s capabilities.
The advice also warned the Port Hedland council, in the Pilbara region, could suffer ‘significant legal and reputational damage’ if they pursued legal action.
Three of the four resolutions, which includes one that calls for a review of WA’s vaccination mandates and the ongoing state of emergency declaration, were supported by the majority of councillors.
The only motion that wasn’t passed was one that required $500,000 for legal fees, however plans to obtain more funding are already in the works.
Port Hedland will vote in favour of launching a Supreme Court action despite being warned in legal advice the case would be ‘extremely expensive’ (pictured, a pedestrian in Perth)
A spokeswoman for the Town of Port Hedland said the council’s chief executive had approached WA’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to ask about resourcing the legal action.
Due to the budget not having any allocation for the costly legal fees the council is required to have additional expenditure approved in another resolution.
The spokeswoman said this would be introduced as a new agenda item at an upcoming council meeting to give members time to consider the move.
Councillors will be asked whether they think the level of funding is appropriate to resource legal action that would ‘meet the intent of resolutions’, she said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Port Hedland Council for comment.
Mr McGowan (pictured with Labor leader Anthony Albanese on May 16) said new Covid-19 cases would continue to emerge and therefore the government needed ongoing powers
It comes just weeks after Western Australia scrapped proof of vaccine requirements in hospitality venues like pubs, bars and restaurants.
Since April 29, residents have no longer been required to wear face mask indoors or show proof of two jabs, with density limits on venues also removed.
Western Australia boasts the highest third jab rate of any other state or territory while 20million people are fully vaccinated against Covid.
Mr McGowan’s government recently introduced legislation to state parliament to ensure that specific Covid-19 rules remain in place.
The new laws cover a range of directions including the seven-day isolation requirement for Covid cases and the use of face masks by close contacts.
The legislation also allows the government to continue to restrict the movement in and out of Aboriginal communities, includes measures for the management of cruise ships, and the use of face masks in hospitals, aged care, disability facilities, and passenger transport settings.
Western Australia boasts the highest third jab rate of another other state or territory, with 20 million people fully vaccinated against Covid (pictured, arrivals in Perth on March)
The bill further provides better protection for WA police officers with increased penalties for serious assaults and threats against frontline officers as well as healthcare workers.
Mr McGowan said new Covid-19 cases would continue to emerge and the government needed ongoing powers to keep West Australians safe.
‘Having this legislation gives the state a framework to manage important measures including the requirement for mask mandates in vulnerable settings such as hospitals and aged care,’ the premier said last week.
‘It also ensures we can keep a ban on larger cruise ships and restrict access to remote Aboriginal Communities for the time being.
‘This emergency management framework has been vital to Western Australia’s successful management of the pandemic.’