Measles: MP wants to ban unvaccinated kids from childcare
BUNDAMBA MP Jo-Ann Miller has launched a bill to keep unvaccinated children out of childcare centres to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses.
The move comes as Ipswich faces a serious outbreak of measles, with health officials issuing several public warnings after seven cases of illness were confirmed.
But the Health and Community Service parliamentary committee containing five out of seven LNP MPs has so far rejected the bill.
The bill is due to come up for parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
Mrs Miller said the committee, which she holds a seat on, had put politics ahead of the health of children.
"From the public hearing into the bill it is quite clear the doctors and nurses and many other organisation support the increased vaccination," she said.
The committee raised concerns about conscientious objectors to vaccinations, but Mrs Miller was happy to amend the draft bill.
"I have made it very clear that I was willing to amend the bill to bring in conscientious objectors.
"They would be required to go to a doctor and the doctor would have to explain the pros and cons of vaccination."
Mrs Miller said the doctor would issue a certificate if the child was not suitable for vaccination due to medical reasons.
Children's Choice Early Education Centre owner Rosa McDonald backed Mrs Miller's bill.
Her childcare centre has experienced a fall in illness since a federal program linking vaccinations to government rebates for child care fees was introduced.
Ms McDonald said the policy backed the stance in many schools.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the Newman Government will consider the recommendations of the committee in the next sitting of parliament.
A spokesman for Mr Springborg said the committee's criticism of Labor's draft bill, which was based on interstate legislation, would be taken on board.
"While well-intended, it was an ad-hoc proposal that lacked public exposure, consultation and feedback in Queensland," the spokesman said.
"As a consequence of these and other concerns, the Parliamentary Committee recommended the bill not be passed."
He said the LNP Government advocated high rates of vaccination.
Mrs Miller said Ipswich vaccination rates were "fairly high" when compared to other areas of the state.
Mrs Miller first tabled the bill in parliament in May, hoping to give childcare centres the power to refuse enrolling an unvaccinated child.
She believes the Newman Government will opt for a bill adopted by the NSW parliament rather than Labor's draft legislation.
"What I suspect they will do is vote the Labor bill down over sheer pig-headedness. But the safety of our little ones in our community should override politics."