Vic to enact Aust's first unvaxxed MP ban

Neil Angus was the sole vote against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Victorian MPs and staff.
Neil Angus was the sole vote against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Victorian MPs and staff.

Victoria is set to become the first Australian state or territory to ban unvaccinated MPs from entering parliament.

A government motion is set to pass parliament's upper house on Thursday, requiring all members and staff to prove they've received at least one dose of a vaccine by Friday to continue working on-site, or have an appointment booked before October 22.

They will also need to have their second dose by November 26.

The motion is in line with a vaccination mandate for all other Victorian authorised workers, which also comes into effect on Friday.

Any member who does not comply will be suspended from entering parliament until the second sitting day of the 2022 parliamentary year.

The motion passed the lower house on Thursday morning with the support of all but one MP, Liberal Neil Angus, who argued the requirement to show proof of the jab was "undemocratic" and "medical apartheid".

During his speech, Mr Angus cited, among others, Dr Simone Gold, who leads a group pushing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and was charged for taking part in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

The opposition's Louise Staley and Greens' Tim Read noted issues with the motion, including a constitutional issue with obstructing members from discharging their responsibilities and the right to consent to healthcare, in spite of their support.

Mr Angus is the only MP in the Liberal party room who isn't vaccinated and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has conceded he won't be able to convince him to.

"I can't force a 60-year-old man to go and get a medical procedure. What I believe in is educating people as to why it's so important," Mr Guy told reporters at parliament.

He said the Liberal-National Coalition would be supporting the motion, given other authorised workers have to be vaccinated.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Angus' comparison of the vaccine mandate to apartheid was "not appropriate and deeply offensive".

"Mandatory vaccination is about keeping people out of hospital, it's about ending lockdown ... it's about freedom," he said

All Labor MPs have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with the "handful" who are not yet fully vaccinated booked in to receive their second dose in the coming weeks.

The motion is currently being debated in the upper house, where it will pass despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats.

"We're not doing this for our own personal reasons because we're both fully vaccinated, but we believe that the human rights of Victorians to voluntarily choose medical procedures is a fundamental right that we need to defend," Liberal Democrat David Limbrick told reporters.

Australian Associated Press