Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

A wide range of events and businesses in southwestern Victoria are part of a test drive for the state’s future as a “vaccinated economy”.

In Warrnambool, a real estate agent, a beauty salon, an art gallery and a horse racing meeting are among the 15 regional companies that will have higher protective caps from Monday on condition that the participants are all fully vaccinated.

Elsewhere in the Victoria region, there is also a gym, cinemas, pubs and cafés.

The test drive aims to work out the cracks in Victoria’s plan to reopen when 70 per cent of the 16-year-olds and older population have received two vaccine doses, expected on 26 October.

For two weeks, regional companies will test new vaccine certification technology before big city companies come on board and culminate in the Melbourne Cup opening for 10,000 patrons.

About 300 fully vaccinated punters are expected to be allowed to take part in the Warrnambool Racecourse on Thursday in what is seen as a small test drive for the race that stops the nation.

In another element of the trial, Roberts One Real Estate in Warrnambool will test a new and improved version of the Service Victoria app that allows 30 fully vaccinated people to attend open house at any time.

The app also allows 30 fully vaccinated people at indoor auctions and 100 at outdoor auctions.

A man in a suit smiling.
Daniel Roberts of Roberts One Real Estate is delighted to be part of the trial in the Victoria region.(

Delivered: Roberts One Real Estate

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Roberts An authorized agent Daniel Roberts said his company’s participation is about more than just the real estate industry.

“We’re just really excited to be able to help any business in Victoria move forward, and that’s the critical part of it,” Roberts said.

“We do it not only from a real estate perspective.

Sir. Roberts said the new measures he will test will hopefully benefit his business.

“We want to be able to take people through properties, sell houses, get tenants into properties, get people to move to Warrnambool,” he said.

The companies were first selected to be in heavily vaccinated areas with low COVID levels and then nominated by their respective business associations.

Warrnambool has already passed 95 percent first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine among people over the age of 15 and is expected to pass 70 percent fully vaccinated over the age of 15 early this week.

“I think Warrnambool has done a fantastic job with their vaccination rates, so this is about moving forward,” Roberts said.

How vaccine certificates work

In Victoria, a vaccine certification is available through the Service Victoria app when shared from the Commonwealth’s MyGov website.

Victorian public service minister Danny Pearson said the trials would help find fault with the system.

“We’re trying to make it a positive user experience by incorporating your immunization certificate into your Service Victoria app, so from a business perspective you can check in and show that you’ve been vaccinated all in one place,” Pearson said.

He also assured users that medical data was secure.

Pearson said it was not yet known how long it would take to check a vaccine status.

“I would love for this to be obsolete technology in three months. But look, we do not know,” he said.

Support against setbacks

After some regional companies and doctors faced retaliation for embracing vaccines, measures have been taken to protect the test sites.

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the trials were the state’s best chance of making reopening less difficult.

“Please do not interfere in attempts to open up our entire state. It makes no sense.”

Sir. Roberts said the start of the trial had not been long, but he welcomed the resources the state government put into the trial.

He also stressed that unvaccinated people would not be excluded from the housing market.

“We can still do (one-on-one) inspections for individuals by appointment, so if you are not vaccinated, you can still go through a property with the consent of the seller,” Roberts said.

“So if a seller might say ‘look, I do not want anyone unvaccinated on the property’, then we are following their instructions.

While aware of the potential for setbacks from the unvaccinated minority, Roberts said the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I really think it’s worth it, solely for the reason that we get input on any changes that need to be made or something we can put forward that doesn’t work,” he said.

“We will all return to normal.

“It’s been a hard, hard blow with lockdowns, but not just our industry. Every business in Victoria has been affected.”

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