A new bill to require footballers to get tested for the deadly virus that has killed more than 5,000 people has passed a key hurdle in the NSW parliament.
The NSW Liberal Party has introduced the Bill to make mandatory the compulsory vaccination of all adult football players aged over 18.
It will come into effect in January and would require all current players to be tested every two years.
In the past, the government has tried to ban the practice, with opposition MPs opposing the bill.
But Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the move will be met with fierce opposition.
“I’m delighted that our members of parliament have chosen to support this bill, which will go into effect today and make the vaccination mandatory for all NSW football players,” she said.
“Footballers will be vaccinated and they will be able to compete in our state’s premier league for a number of years to come.”
Ms Berejisklian said the state had not received a single case of the coronavirus in the past six months.
“The government has been very clear on this: we are not getting any cases of the virus in NSW,” she told reporters.
“We have had a number from overseas but it’s still a very small number.”
A spokesperson for the Victorian Premier said there was a strong correlation between the number of coronaviruses detected in the state and the number the state receives from overseas.
“There is a strong relationship between that, and so we know that there is a correlation between those numbers,” he said.
Mr O’Connor said the new legislation would ensure the public’s health was taken into account.
“These measures will help ensure that the people of this state, our community and our nation have the best possible vaccine available, with the highest level of confidence, and the best protection against the virus,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s important to recognise the importance of the state-wide vaccination, as the number and type of coronas is increasing in our community, and it is crucial to vaccinate those who are not currently vaccinated.”
“This will ensure that our community is protected and that our nation’s is not affected,” he added.
A spokesperson from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) said there had been a small number of cases of corona in the ACT but they were isolated.
“This is the first time we have seen an outbreak in our region, and we have been working closely with the Australian Federal Police and the Health Protection and Promotion Council (HPPC) to develop the latest coronaviral response plan to prevent any further transmission,” they said.
They also said they were still working with local authorities to identify those who may be at risk.
The ABC understands the new bill has been endorsed by Health Minister Sussan Ley, and is expected to be passed into law in the next few days.
The bill was passed with no opposition.