The Project host Tommy Little slams nursing union boss for refusing to say the Covid vaccine should be mandatory for all aged care workers
- Tommy Little clashed with ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler on The Project
- Ms Butler appeared to discuss the rollout of the Covid jab in aged care homes
- She accused the government of giving ‘unclear’ messages about the vaccine
- Little asked whether vaccines should be made mandatory for aged care workers
- Ms Butler gave a vague response, with Little accusing her of being ‘confusing’
Tommy Little has accused the secretary of the nursing union of promoting ‘confusing’ Covid vaccine advice during a fiery clash on The Sunday Project.
Federal Secretary for Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANWF) Annie Butler spoke to the Channel 10 program’s guest host on Sunday night to discuss the rollout of the jab for aged care workers.
She claimed the government had left workers in the sector confused by delivering ‘unclear’ messages about the vaccine rollout.
But when asked whether or not vaccines should be made mandatory in aged cares, Ms Butler responded: ‘It’s a question we need to continue to ask but right now we can’t mandate something that isn’t readily available and accessible.’
The Project host Tommy Little (pictured) has clashed with the secretary of the nursing union over ‘confusing’ information about the Covid vaccine
Little was unimpressed with her answer.
‘I tell you what, after saying the Government’s communication has been confusing, I reckon yours is too,’ he said.
‘Why do you think that’s confusing?’ Ms Butler fired back.
‘When you are asked should the vaccine be mandatory and you answer by saying “I think we should continue to ask that question”, don’t you find that a confusing answer?,’ Little asked.
But Ms Butler reiterated the union was not in a position to make a decision.
‘I just don’t think it’s ready for us to make it mandatory. And until we have all the other systems in place we can’t make it mandatory for aged care workers.’
Federal Secretary for Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANWF) Annie Butler told the program on Sunday the union ‘can’t make vaccines mandatory’ until ‘other systems are in place’
On Friday, Scott Morrison announced the national cabinet had agreed to move towards implementing a vaccine mandate for aged care workers.
‘We are leaning heavily into this as leaders of governments and myself as prime minister to see us move towards a mandatory vaccination for aged care workers,’ Mr Morrison said.
The declaration came after it was revealed only half of Victoria’s aged care residents had been fully inoculated as the state grapple’s with another coronavirus outbreak, which grew to 85 cases on Sunday.
The Melbourne cluster has infiltrated an aged care home Arcare after the virus was spread between staff and residents.
Two of the four new cases recorded on Sunday were linked to the Maidstone facility.
Mr Morrison said the government was consulting with the the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to determine how the mandate would be implemented.
Staff are seen leaving Arcare Aged Care facility in Maidstone, Melbourne, which has been linked to a Covid cluster in Melbourne
‘We have had further advice from the AHPPC which means we have tasked the AHPPC to advise us how this can safely be done including a suitable timeframe how that can be achieved and will be waiting for such advice.’
However, he said the decision would ultimately lie with states and territories.
‘For vaccinations to be made mandatory for aged care workers, that has to be done by public health orders at a state level, as it is done for flu vaccinations,’ he said.
Just a day earlier, the prime minister made an opposing declaration during question time, stating the measure was ‘unlikely’.
‘(The AHPPC) have not made that recommendation previously, and my advice is that it is unlikely to be made mandatory,’ he said on Thursday.