Nats call for uniform vaccination laws

State conference: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams will take a motion from the local Nationals branch to state conference.

State conference: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams will take a motion from the local Nationals branch to state conference.

The Port Macquarie branch of The Nationals will push for uniform federal laws banning unvaccinated children from attending childcare centres, preschool or schools.

The NSW Nationals will debate the motion at state conference which gets underway on Thursday night in Broken Hill.

It is one of dozens of motions expected to be debated over the two days.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said no jab no play laws are in place in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, but a successful motion would see more pressure applied to the federal government for uniform laws.

“We are asking for the federal government to push for the introduction of national laws,” she said.

“There are a lot of circumstances where a national approach would be more efficient. By making this a uniform law across the country, you don’t have to think about which state you are in.

“Currently in NSW, if you go to enrol at a preschool, child care centre or school you have to show proof of immunisation status. If you can’t, then you need to show how your son or daughter is on a catch-up schedule.”

Children can be excused from their regular vaccinations through illness or if a doctor suggests delaying the immunisation shots for a specific reason.

Mrs Williams said the motion was discussed at the Port Macquarie electorate council (branch).

The electorate council has successfully moved several motions at state conference level including laws covering the banning of smoking from motor vehicles where children are passengers.

That motion emanated from the Port Macquarie electorate council, she said.

“And it shows that you can change policy very much from the grass roots,” she added.

The Nationals’ conference will debate some 66 motions covering education, health, economy, primary industries, law and justice, roads and regional development.

Mrs Williams is The Nationals’ party room delegate to the central council where she has voting rights.

The two day conference gets underway on Thursday evening with debate on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile Mrs Williams was due to chair a palliative care roundtable in Kempsey on Monday before travelling to Broken Hill on Tuesday where she will join the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a outreach flight.

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