The peak local government lobby wants frontline council workers to receive early COVID-19 vaccination. 

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) says it wants to include essential frontline workers in local government among the groups getting the first COVID-19 vaccine injections.

With the logistical details of the vaccination program still being finalised, ALGA President Linda Scott says this important group should not miss out. 

“These are workers who have significant daily contact with members of the public,” Cr Scott said this week. 

“People such as waste services staff, building and compliance officers, rangers, and food and environmental health workers.

“To protect them – and the many people they engage with each day – they should be classified as being eligible for priority vaccine access.”

Councils also employ customer service staff to provide essential services to residents and ratepayers - many of whom are elderly or vulnerable - and Cr Scott says these individuals should also be considered for early access to the vaccine.

She added that any discussion by the National Cabinet of regional or rural locations for COVID quarantine facilities needs to consider the local government perspective.

“To open new facilities with minimal public consultation risks compromising the integrity of the quarantine program as well as potentially spreading COVID to local communities,” Cr Scott said. 

“Quarantine camps in regional areas will have a direct effect on local government.

“These impacts would be better understood and appreciated if local government was represented in National Cabinet.”