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Govt event staff told to provide proof of vax

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SA government event staff have been told to provide proof they’ve been fully COVID-vaccinated to their employer, but management insists it is “not mandating employee vaccinations”.

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Staff at the State Government’s event-management company, Adelaide Venue Management Corporation – which runs the Adelaide Convention Centre, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium – have been issued the edict and told it is required in order to “maximise the opportunities for staff to again receive regular work”.

An email sent to all staff by Human Resources General Manager Simon Hockridge, and provided to InDaily, says: “As you are aware, AVM has been strongly encouraging staff to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but has not made it compulsory for its employees to do so.”

“This remains AVM’s position at this time,” it continues.

“However, we are now receiving frequent requests from clients requesting that AVM only roster fully vaccinated employees for their events, or in specific areas of their events.”

Hockridge says that in order to “facilitate such requests moving forward and ensure that all suitably-qualified employees are able to be considered for these shifts, AVM is now seeking that all fully vaccinated employees email a copy of their vaccination certificate” to the company’s Human Resources department.

He explains to staff how to download their digital vaccination certificates via the MyGov online portal or the Express Plus Medicare App, saying: “As with all personal information provided by you as part of your employment with AVM, please rest assured that full privacy and confidentiality is maintained.”

“Things are rapidly changing globally in relation to restrictions being eased and borders opening up and vaccination rates are clearly at the centre of it,” he says.

“It is therefore critical that AVM be in a position to maximise the opportunities for its staff to again receive regular work.”

Asked whether the edict meant that only vaccinated staff would be considered for certain event jobs and if that meant effectively mandating the vaccine, AVM CEO Anthony Kirchner said: “AVM is not mandating employee vaccinations.”

“AVM is however receiving many booking enquiries, including from major convention organisers, concert promoters, Adelaide 36ers, Adelaide United and external catering clients, that are insisting staff be fully vaccinated for their events or in specific areas of their events,” he said.

“Where applicable, AVM will roster those staff that have voluntarily provided their vaccination status to meet those clients’ specific needs.”

It comes as WOMADelaide organisers last week declared the event would mandate the vaccine for all stakeholders, including performers, staff and attendees.

Festival director Ian Scobie told ABC Radio Adelaide last week the “duty of care” mandate would apply to “the staff, the artists, the crew – everyone who basically will work on and participate in the event, which obviously includes the audience”.

InDaily revealed in August that Kirchner had told staff they were “all going to need to be vaccinated if AVM is to achieve its full potential”, writing in an all-staff bulletin it was “becoming increasingly evident that venues are going to have to demonstrate that their staff are fully vaccinated against COVID in the not-too distant future”.

The corporation’s latest annual report says AVM has been “devastatingly impacted” by ongoing restrictions in Australia, with an 82.5 per cent reduction in pre-COVID events revenue last financial year, while professional sporting and local market events income was down 52.4 per cent.

“Our core business of contemporary live entertainment and business events has been decimated by restrictions on mass gathering and international and interstate travel,” chairman Bill Spurr wrote.

“AVM’s current situation is direr than at any time since the initial COVID-19 outbreak.”

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