Labor will work with the Government to increase immunisation rates so all Australian children have the best chance at growing up strong and healthy.
In Government, Labor made important changes to family payments to lift immunisation rates; including linking the Family Tax Benefit end of year supplement to immunisation.
Ahead of the 2013 election, Labor committed to further tighten immunisation requirements within the family payment system and today we welcome the Government’s support for Labor’s approach.
Bill Shorten recently wrote to Tony Abbott urging reform in this important area and offering bi-partisan support to work through these issues with a view to increasing immunisation rates across Australia.
Labor believes that parents should have the final say in making health decisions about their child. But when it comes to immunisation there is a strong public interest in ensuring children are immunised.
Unless a parent has a deeply-held religious view, there should be no exemptions to the community expectation that children are immunised.
Labor will work with the Government to ensure changes are implemented in a way that increases immunisation rates among vulnerable children – we need to work with the child care sector to ensure these children are not inadvertently excluded from early education and care.
Labor also recognises the work Medicare locals were doing to increase immunisation rates in local communities was important and we hope the new Primary Health Network will continue this work.