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Bid to question Spurrier in court over vax mandates

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Nicola Spurrier could be hauled before the Supreme Court to help explain the state’s COVID-19 rules after a challenge by AFLW player Deni Varnhagen.

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Deni Varnhagen trial

10 News First Adelaide – Disclaimer

Channel Ten

The chief public health officer is due to learn on Thursday of the court’s decision on her proposed cross-examination.

Lawyers for Adelaide Crows midfielder Varnhagen want to question Spurrier about SA’s vaccination mandates which have kept their client off-field and lost her casual shifts as a registered nurse.

The legal case is challenging the state’s vaccine requirements for healthcare workers.

Lawyers for the government tried to block Spurrier’s appearance in court, arguing that expert evidence had already been provided and that the chief health officer would be appearing against her will.

Varnhagen’s lawyers told the court the application was not an effort to grandstand or “turn the court into some kind of royal commission” and would be conducted with the utmost courtesy.

Varnhagen has been forced to work as a labourer after losing her regular work for refusing a COVID-19 vaccination, the court was told.

The decision to impose the vaccination mandate for state health workers and other public sector employers was made under the SA Emergency Management Act.

Varnhagen said she had received no nursing shifts since November 2021 after refusing the vaccination despite receiving text messages asking for all eligible nursing staff to help fill shortages.

The Crows also shifted Varnhagen to the inactive list after she refused to be vaccinated.

Varnhagen has been joined in the matter by fellow nurse Courtney Millington.

 – AAP

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