New no jab, no pay laws to hit parliament
The government is ramping up its "no jab, no pay" policy, with new laws to dock welfare payments by $28 a fortnight for parents whose children don't meet immunisation requirements.
Under legislation to be introduced to parliament on Thursday, parents' fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payments will be reduced for each child that has not been vaccinated.
From 1 July 2018, this will replace the current system under which end-of-year supplements are withheld for children whose immunisation is not up to date.
The end of year supplement is the same value as the fortnightly payments, but the government is hopeful the change will give parents an immediate incentive to have their children immunised.
While immunisation rates have risen nationally since the first no jab no pay measures were introduced in January 2016, it still falls short of the 95 per cent herd immunity required to slow or stop the spread of disease.
As of June, 93.79 of one-year-olds, 90.86 of two-year-olds and 93.55 of five-year-olds were fully immunised.