Fears have been raised that emergency services along of the Great Ocean Road would be left shorthanded over the long weekend as the state government's vaccine booster mandate comes into force, but they have been hosed down.
The State Emergency Services spokesperson said that they had sought clarification from the government on Friday and volunteers who are only double-jabbed have been given the all-clear to attend emergencies.
But they would still be locked out of any training, meetings and community engagement events until they line up for another jab.
Polwarth MP Richard Riordan said he had been contacted by one entire SES unit who said it would be out of service because not enough members had yet got their booster shots.
The vaccine booster mandate for emergency services workers comes into effect from March 12.
Mr Riordan said he had also been contacted by both CFA brigades and SES members along the Great Ocean Road who said they would be short on numbers this weekend, just as tourist numbers start to boom for the Labour Day long weekend.
"These are people giving up their afternoons to save people's lives," Mr Riordan said.
"They're saying, we're going to be pulling international tourists out of car accidents who only have to have double jabs, so why on earth are we putting people's lives at risk because of the obsession with triple jabs for volunteers?"
"Stopping people working because they are not triple jabbed is just crazy."
Mr Riordan said the deadline to get boosted or lose your job in a number of sectors across Victoria comes only days after the South Australian police force abandoned its vaccine mandate for officers.
"The Liberal Party no longer supports general mandates in order for people to work and volunteer," he said.
"The Andrews Labor government third booster mandate will leave our volunteer emergency services short-handed and puts all of our lives at risk.
"We could have people trapped in car accidents or bushfires burning but be short on volunteers responding because they haven't had a third vaccine shot."
Mr Riordan said the mandate deadline would also affect food production and transport.
"Food production, lifeguards at swimming pools, SES volunteers, CFA volunteers all ruled out. Not allowed in the trucks," he said.
He said businesses were already chronically short staffed. "How many more people are they going to knock out?"
"It's time to just get back and treat this as an endemic disease in the community and people need to make their own choices."
Mr Riordan said they had made it clear that they were not going to have the fight over mandates for healthcare workers because they have mandates all the time for flu vaccinations.
A SES spokesperson said there was no reason any units should not be able to provide an emergency response from Sunday.
"The Department of Health have advised that under exceptional circumstances VICSES members can still respond to an emergency, despite their booster vaccination status in the short-term," the spokesperson said.
"VICSES members are required to have two doses of the vaccine for this condition to be enacted.
The SES was working with members across Victoria that still needed to submit their evidence for the third-dose.
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