COVID-19, Media Release

Surf Life Saving Queensland requires COVID-19 Vaccinations by 31 March 2022

Friday, 19 November 2021

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has announced that from 31 March 2022, all SLSQ staff and members 16 years and over will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Following the Queensland Government announcement on 9 November 2021 regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Queensland Roadmap going forward, the SLSQ Board of Directors met to consider the impact and options for the organisation.

The new Queensland Roadmap means that from 17 December 2021, all SLSQ Supporters Clubs/licensed premises must adhere to the restrictions imposed by the Queensland Government for unvaccinated people.

As Surf Clubs and Supporters Clubs are often in the same building, this update has brought forward the decision by the Board to require all staff and volunteers 16 years and over to be fully vaccinated by 31 March 2022. This requirement was communicated to staff and volunteers this morning.

Furthermore, it is believed that this requirement is the best way to ensure the safety and wellbeing of volunteers and beachgoers in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Importantly, this requirement will help minimise the risk of infection and spreading for lifesavers when they conduct rescues throughout the patrolling season.

Under this new requirement, in order to attend an SLSQ facility/club, deliver a service or participate in an activity in person, staff and volunteers 16 years and over will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless an exemption is received.

Staff and volunteers 16 years and over will have to lodge their vaccination status by 31 March 2022 and SLSQ will be providing more details to staff and volunteers about how to do this in the coming weeks.

SLSQ will engage in a consultation process with key stakeholders to ensure that all affiliates are informed of the decision and involved with the subsequent process.

Surf Life Saving Queensland CEO, Dave Whimpey, said the organisation has a duty of care to keep all staff, volunteers and members of the public safe.

“We are taking this step to actively protect all those involved in the lifesaving community, and align with the Queensland Government’s Roadmap,” Mr Whimpey said.

“A number of factors were considered when we made this decision, and we acknowledge that some staff and volunteers may disagree. Accordingly, we respect an individual’s decision, and should they choose not to be fully vaccinated, they will be placed on Restricted Duties and unable to participate.”

“Ultimately, we have to ensure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and any other third parties who have interactions with SLSQ which is why we have made this decision,” he said.

SLSQ recognises that if advice from the Queensland Government changes over the coming months, this requirement will be reviewed by the SLSQ Board of Directors.

Further information can be found on the COVID Hub page on the SLSQ website.

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