The Commonwealth Government will end the conscientious objector exemption on children’s vaccination for access to taxpayer funded Child Care Benefits, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement from 1 January 2016.
Parents who vaccinate their children should have confidence that they can take their children to child care without the fear that their children will be at risk of contracting a serious or potentially life-threatening illness because of the conscientious objections of others.
From 1 January 2016, ‘conscientious objection’ will be removed as an exemption category for child care payments (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate) and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement.
Immunisation requirements for the payment of FTB Part A end-of-year supplement will also be extended to include children of all ages. Currently, vaccination status is only checked at ages 1, 2 and 5 years.
Existing exemptions on medical or religious grounds will continue, however a religious objection will only be available where the person is affiliated with a religious groups where the governing body has a formally registered objection approved by the Government.
This means that vaccine objectors will not be able to access these government payments.
The new policy will tighten up the rules and reinforce the importance of immunisation and protecting public health, especially for children.