It is with a heavy heart that I have introduced this legislation to the Senate, a Bill for an Act to protect the right of Australians to make their own health decisions in relation to COVID-19 vaccination.
I do not introduce this Bill lightly.
I introduce this Bill because I see no other alternative for halting the pandemic of discrimination that has been unleashed in Australia against individuals who don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19.
It’s in the best Westminster tradition that I introduce this Bill to enshrine individual rights in law.
Introducing this Bill is also a response to the disturbing trend of Australian prime ministers too frightened – or simply incapable – of exercising true leadership when their country is crying out for it.
Australians who stand for their right to choose vaccination are just like any other Australians.
They are doctors, nurses and paramedics caring for our health.
They are police officers enforcing law and keeping us safe.
They are soldiers, sailors and aviators defending our sovereignty.
They are people who work alongside us in an office, in a factory, at a mine, on a farm or in a shop.
They are volunteers helping their communities.
They are people in line with us at Centrelink, and they are people sitting next to us in corporate boardrooms.
They are people who live next door, down the street, across town and interstate.
They are people born here and overseas, indigenous and non-indigenous, men and women, adults and children.
They are our people.
They are our fellow citizens.
They are Australians just like you and me, with families and mortgages and worries and hopes and dreams.
The pandemic of discrimination which has been unleashed upon our fellow Australians has taken many forms.
They are demonised by elected governments and unelected health bureaucrats, a message amplified by a disturbingly compliant and complacent media.
They are physically beaten by police for protesting vaccine mandates and hair-trigger lockdowns destroying their families, jobs, businesses and the economy.
They have been attacked in parliaments by their own elected representatives.
They face a bleak future in which they are treated as second-class citizens unable to enjoy whatever freedoms will be returned to us – freedoms we all took for granted before 2020, like going to a movie or on an interstate holiday.
Many of these people have already lost their jobs and their livelihoods, with little to no prospects on the horizon.
Many more jobs are under threat from this discrimination.
Last week the Northern Territory government ordered people to receive a jab by 13 November if their jobs involved public interaction.
Not content with this demand, people were told they would not be allowed at work without it and would be hit with a 5000 dollar fine.
This is pure, naked coercion – not only will you lose your job and your income for standing for your right to choose, but you will have your savings account cleaned out also, right when you need it.
In other words, do what you’re told or we’ll put you out on the street.
Or in prison, maybe, if you don’t have 5000 dollars just lying around.
Not a lot of Territorians do.
All this discrimination and coercion against people who won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19, which has affected just over 200 people in the Territory and caused no deaths.
Influenza kills people in the Territory – one person died last year and five the year before – but similar discrimination and coercion is not in place for people who won’t get a flu jab.
No, discrimination is being solely reserved for those who won’t get the COVID-19 jabs.
All of this discrimination has amounted to one clear message: the rights of the individual will be protected only so long as they do not conflict with the state.
There is nothing – not even a global pandemic – more dangerous to a free society.
Our nation’s history is replete with people who recognised this danger and acted, from the miners who rebelled on the Victorian goldfields and the drafters of our Constitution, to the young men and women who enlisted to fight wars against fascist or communist tyranny and the legislators who passed landmark laws against racial and sexual discrimination.
Our nation’s history is also replete with the extension of equal rights to disenfranchised sections of Australian society – firstly men without property, then women, then indigenous Australians.
This legislation follows this proud tradition but, more importantly, will help prevent us from going backwards on protecting individual human rights in Australia.
This legislation is all about principle, something which has been abandoned by the major political parties.
There sit senators of the Labor Party, the so-called champions of the working class, the political arm of the union movement now under attack from its very own members for failing to stand up for their right to choose.
They won’t act to prevent discrimination against Australians standing for the right to choose.
There sit senators of the Liberal Party, the so-called champions for personal responsibility and economic integrity, failing to stand up for personal responsibility and spending public money like none have done before.
I recently asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Birmingham, if the government would mandate COVID-19 vaccination for Liberal MPs.
His response was that it was a personal choice for Liberal MPs.
So the privileged members of the government are allowed the right to choose but not millions of members of the public.
How does this make the government anything more than a gang of hypocritical control freaks?
They won’t act to prevent discrimination against Australians standing for the right to choose.
Only One Nation is acting to prevent discrimination against Australians standing for the right to choose, because only One Nation stands firmly for this principle.
It is the birthright of every Australian, and we must be able to exercise it safe from threats to our livelihoods and public freedoms.
Safe from discrimination.
Discrimination used to be a dirty word, but this pandemic has exposed it as a new virtue to be signalled.
How far we have fallen in this pandemic, which has left its mark on all of us.
One Nation is determined this mark does not linger in the form of ongoing discrimination against Australians standing for the right to choose vaccination.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Status (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill 2021 will prohibit discrimination based on individuals’ COVID-19 vaccination status by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, statutory authorities, local government and businesses.
It will make it unlawful for the Commonwealth to discriminate against a person on the basis of whether the person has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
It will make it unlawful for the Commonwealth to enter an agreement with, provide public funds or grant licences, permits or authorisations to entities if they are reasonably likely to discriminate against a person on the basis of whether the person has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
The Bill has the same provisions for state and territory governments and local government.
This legislation will make it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person – in relation to the first person employing the other person, on the basis of whether the other person has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
It will also make it unlawful for a business to discriminate in the provision of goods or services, or access to business premises.
This principle will also apply to volunteer bodies with respect to people’s membership, participation in volunteer activities and the provision of goods or services.
The penalties will be steep for a breach of this law.
This is because the right to choose is fundamental and must not be compromised, regardless of the choice that is made.
It’s a shame, really, that I am compelled to remind the Senate the right to choose is the foundation on which democracies like Australia are built.
It’s the reason each of us are here – because Australians freely chose us to represent them.
You may not always agree with the free choices other Australians make, but that doesn’t entitle us to take their right to choose away from them.
And it most definitely doesn’t entitle us to punish those whose free choices we do not agree with by taking away their livelihoods and restricting freedoms other Australians have.
And it may very well be unconstitutional to take the freedom to choose away.
I draw Senators’ attention to Section 51 (23A) of the Australian Constitution which says Parliament can make laws with respect to:
” … the provision of maternity allowances, widows’ pensions, child endowment, unemp loyment, pharmaceutical sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services ( but no so as to authorise any form of civil conscription ) … “
What is the vaccination mandate if not the conscription of the Australian people in a war against the coronavirus?
The response to this pandemic has already imposed restrictions on movement and basic freedoms not seen in Australia since the Second World War.
It’s also been replete with wartime propaganda exaggerating the danger of the enemy that is the coronavirus.
It’s only right for Australians to question much of the propaganda which has been selectively spoon-fed to them by unelected health bureaucrats and populist premiers.
Fatalities in particular are an open question when the average age of people we’re told have died from the coronavirus is 86, higher than the average life expectancy for Australians.
Did they die from COVID-19 or with COVID-19?
When a patient in their 90s in palliative care is said to have died from the coronavirus it’s only fair to assume other factors were in play.
This is not a standalone case.
Many cases were reported as a COVID death when they had many underlying health issues.
I suspect this is a reality which health bureaucrats are keen to hide from the Australian people who have borne the brunt of hair-trigger lockdowns imposed by premiers running rampant in the face of the Prime Minister’s impotence.
We hear more about COVID deaths than we hear about deaths caused by adverse reactions to the vaccine. Why don’t we be utterly honest with the people?
This gutless PM’s lack of leadership and authority is enabling these rogue premiers to destroy families, jobs and the economy with lockdowns while Scott Morrison, in his impotence, turns a blind eye.
One Nation is not blind to the plight of Australians suffering under lockdowns and losing their jobs for standing for the right to choose.
We have been told a load of rubbish and exaggerated figures from so-called health experts from the beginning.
Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (16:55): Two years ago the idea that people could be discriminated against based on their private medical history would have disgusted the majority in this country.
However, over the last 18 months we’ve seen so much of our God-given freedoms eroded by power-hungry state premiers and bureaucrats that such an idea has become increasingly palatable and even appealing to some.
I referred to it as a vaccine passport in the past, but I’m not talking about a certificate or a stamp which allows you to travel to another country.
I’m talking about a pass documenting an individual’s vaccination history which corporations, governments and others can ask for that enables them to legally discriminate against an individual.
Imagine someone telling you that you can’t enter their restaurant, their shop or their hotel because of your private medical choices. Imagine being denied a job or getting laid off because you chose not to get a vaccination. Imagine being told you can’t cross a state border because you decided to exercise your free will to not receive an injection. These are not farfetched scenarios from some dystopian novel about a totalitarian government. They are very real prospects that could turn into reality, if we choose the wrong path.
As a nation I believe we’re at the crossroads. We’ve had the situation thrust upon us. This is a virus that kills about three out of every 1,000 people it infects. Of course every life lost, whatever the cause, is a tragedy and not just a statistic. But we must make a choice here. We are blessed to live in what I believe is one of the greatest countries in the world, and the reason it is one of the greatest countries is the freedoms that we enjoy.
Are we going to choose to trade in those freedoms that this great country was built upon and people sacrificed their lives for? I’ve heard people dismiss this as nothing. They say it’s a small sacrifice and an inconvenience. Where do these sacrifices end? Where do we draw the line? I hope we’d all agree that forced vaccinations would actually cross that line. We need food to survive, we need money to buy food, we need a job to earn money. If we need a vaccine to get a job, how is that not coercion? Is that not someone being forced into getting a vaccination?
Then there’s the issue of domestic state borders. We hear rumblings from certain Labor state governments that they may require people to show proof of vaccination before crossing the state border. This cannot be allowed to happen.
We are one country. Any Australian should have the right to travel wherever they please within their own country, without having to disclose their private medical records. We’ve seen our state borders closed enough times under questionable circumstances over the last 18 months. This has been under the guise of stopping the spread of COVID-19 as a temporary measure, but we should not have any hard borders within Australia. We do not need checkpoints within Australia. We do not need to present our papers to travel from one state to another in Australia.
If someone chooses not to have a vaccine, they should be afforded exactly the same rights as any other Australian. The elephant in the room regarding the vaccines themselves is that people who’ve received both doses or a dose can still actually transmit the virus. Although it’s less likely, it’s a possibility.
So where would that leave us a nation? The answer is divided. We would be a nation of vaccinated first-class citizens and unvaccinated second-class citizens.
But we’ve already seen enough division.
There has been blaming and shaming of people who’ve caught the virus and unknowingly spread it. I don’t want to fuel that fire and I’m sure no-one else wants to fuel that fire anymore. There are many Australians like me who aren’t anti-vaxxers, but who have legitimate concerns about being injected or having family members injected with a vaccine that has been produced in quite a hurry and who want to wait to see whether there are side effects from that vaccine.
These are legitimate concerns. We’ve already seen side effects manifest in the form of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine. People concerned about their health and the health of their families should not be treated any differently, whether or not you think their concerns are legitimate. They should not be subject to discrimination or denied employment, services, travel and health care.
How often do we as Australians laud our country as a land of opportunity, a fair go for all? Vaccine passes are the antithesis of that idea. Australia should be free, Australians should be free to decide their own path without the shackles of an overbearing government, and that’s why I firmly say no to the idea of vaccine passports in this country and the idea of vaccine certificates that others shouldn’t have any right whatsoever to see.
The principle behind the No Domestic COVID Vaccine Passports Bill 2021 is quite simple: COVID vaccines in this country should be freely available to all, with informed consent of course, but they should be mandatory to nobody. Already, there are 16 US states that have introduced similar legislation to that which I am introducing today. This bill has been modelled on Florida’s bill, introduced by Governor DeSantis, which has been widely accepted by the Florida electorate. I hope that this parliament will move forward and bring this bill on for debate and a vote as soon as possible. This bill is simply about the type of country that we want. Do we want a country where government officials and petty bureaucrats demand that you show your medical papers? That is not the country that I want. Your medical records should be something between you and your doctor.
The entire concept of a vaccine passport is itself inherently misleading. There is little evidence to show that these novel experimental COVID genetic vaccines actually prevent someone from contracting COVID or prevent someone from spreading COVID or prevent someone from being hospitalised with COVID. For the education of the member at the desk, I have the latest data from the US on what they call ‘vaccine breakthrough cases’. These are cases where someone has been injected twice and, after a period of 14 days, still contracts COVID. The number is so many that they no longer count them, but they do count the number of hospitalisations. As at 14 June, the number of so-called breakthrough cases—that is, people who have been vaccinated twice and have ended up in hospital with COVID—stands at 2,622, and the number of deaths of people who have been vaccinated twice in the US and have passed away from COVID stands at 549. However, these numbers, the CDC says, are ‘likely a substantial undercount’ of all SARS infections among so-called fully vaccinated persons, and this surveillance relies upon ‘passive and voluntary reporting’. So we don’t actually know what the true number of breakthrough cases are.
There is also growing concern over vaccine safety. The highly respected and highly credentialed Dr Tess Lawrie recently stated in submission she made that, ‘There is more than enough evidence to declare that the COVID vaccines are unsafe for use in humans.’ This is also a great concern, as we also have data from VAERS in the USA that shows that, as at 4 June, there have been 5,888 deaths that have occurred in people after the vaccine. Now it is true that this VAERS data is questionable. Dr Peter McCullough suggested that the number is more like 50,000 rather than 5,888. But the fact is that we just do not know. Again, this VAERS data is based on voluntary reporting. So we simply have no idea about what the true rate of deaths are after COVID injections and we have no idea whether they were related to them or just a mere coincidence.
I’d say that’s the entire problem, because we have to admit that this is still one giant medical experiment. I’d liked to quote Dr Damian Wojcik of New Zealand. Talking about having his patients injected, he said: ‘Not on my watch. Not with my patients. My patients are living persons with names and families, not laboratory rats to be sacrificed in a global experiment.’ Dr Roger Hodkinson—a doctor from Canada—said recently: ‘This experimental vaccine should never have been released. Mass vaccination is so transparently stupid; medical idiocy of a grotesque degree. The bottom line is that mass vaccination of everybody should stop immediately. And when it comes to injecting this stuff into the arms of children, I call this “state sanctioned child abuse”.’ Dr Peter McCullough has recently stated, ‘I can no longer recommend the vaccines’.
Therefore, as this is a medical experiment, the idea of having a vaccine passport is coercive. It is to coerce people into participating in a medical experiment, of which we simply do not know what the end result will be. We’ve even seen here in Australia how our medical bureaucrats have got it wrong time and time again. Firstly, when it came to the AstraZeneca vaccine, they said that there was no evidence of a relationship with blood clots. They were dangerously wrong. Then it was clear from the data out of Europe, from the European Medicines Agency, that the AstraZeneca should be suspended and most European countries elected for a cut-off date of 60 years of age. So, if you were under 60, in most European countries they did not give you the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But our medical bureaucrats decided that the Europeans didn’t know what they were doing and that we would have the cut-off at 50. Only last week they admitted that they were wrong again, and the result of their error has been that 800,000 Australians have been injected with a substance which our Chief Medical Officer now says has a greater risk than any benefit. This was 800,000 Australians injected, where the risk was greater to them than any benefit because of a mistake by our medical bureaucrats.
The thing is that we should look at that risk-benefit analysis. But we’ve seen that the short-term risks have been grossly underestimated by health officials around the world. That’s why there have been suspensions and recalls. But we have no idea of the medium-term risks, we have no idea of the long-term risks and we have no idea of the intergenerational risks. Therefore, for anyone to stand up and say that they know that the benefits outweigh the risks, well, they simply cannot say that. If you cannot quantify medium-, long-term and intergenerational risks then you simply cannot make that assessment—the data is not there. We’re flying blind into this experiment.
That’s also why we do not need a domestic vaccine passport in this country. It would also be a complete violation of human rights. The UN Economic and Social Council has said, ‘The right to health contains freedoms such as “the right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedom, and the right to be free from interference, such as the right to be free from torture, non-consensual medical treatment and experimentation.’
I’d also like to make special mention of our Paralympic squad. We have bureaucrats there running that Paralympic squad that have decided to discriminate against Paralympians. So we have a situation where athletes are playing the same sport, going to the same country, going to the same city, going to the same Olympic facilities and playing at the same stadiums. If they are a Paralympian they are forced into this experiment—otherwise they are not picked. If they are in the normal Olympics, that does not apply. That is discrimination. That is contrary to the principles of this bill. I would call on Paralympic Australia to end their discrimination against athletes going to the Paralympics. With that, I commend this bill to the House, and I also congratulate my good friend the member for Dawson on being the seconder for this bill.
The bill prohibits the Commonwealth, States and Territories and other non-government entities from issuing domestic vaccine passports or certification and also prohibits discrimination on the basis of whether a person has had a COVID vaccination in the provision of goods, services and facilities and also in employment, education, accommodation and sport.
The bill supports the inalienable rights and freedoms of all Australians, a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives and nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentives rather than punishing disincentives and the stifling structures of a large corporate state and bureaucratic red tape.
World’s largest medical experiment
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines should follow the principle of being “freely available to all but mandatory to none.”
On 21 February 2021, in an ABC interview with David Speers, the Health Minister Greg Hunt noted, “The world is engaged in the largest clinical trial, the largest global vaccination trial ever.”
In the USA, COVID vaccines only have ‘emergency use authorisation’, whereas in Australia the equivalent is a ‘provisional approval’ by the TGA.
Provisional eligibility criteria require vaccine manufacturers to submit comprehensive clinical data on the safety and efficacy of the medicine within 6 years after the grant of provisional approval. As a vaccine passport is coercive by nature it would also be coercing Australian citizens to participate in a global medical experiment.
There is a growing number of doctors worldwide objecting to their patients participating in this global experiment.
Dr Walter Wojcik GP said, “Not on my watch. Not with my patients. My patients are living persons with names and families, not laboratory rats to be sacrificed in a global experiment.”
Dr Roger Hodkinson MA, MB, FRCPC, FCAP stated, “this experimental vaccine should never have been released… [mass vaccination] is so transparently stupid, medical idiocy of a grotesque degree… the bottom line is that mass vaccination of everybody should stop immediately… when it comes to injecting this stuff in to the arms of children, I call this ‘state sanctioned child abuse’.”
Dr Peter McCullough MD, MPH, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FCCP stated, “I can no longer recommend the vaccines.”
Vaccine passports are inherently misleading
The concept of a vaccine passport is inherently misleading. There is little evidence to show that any of the COVID vaccines prevent someone from contracting COVID or prevent someone from spreading COVID or prevent someone from being hospitalised or dying from COVID.
The US CDC compiles data of ‘vaccine breakthrough cases’. A ‘vaccine breakthrough infection’ is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have been injected twice. As at 7 June 2021, the CDC so far has reported 3,459 vaccine breakthrough patients who were either hospitalised or died.
The CDC also note that the number of vaccine breakthrough infections reported are likely to be an undercount of all COVID infections amongst people who have been injected twice as the data relies upon passive and voluntary reporting.
Growing concern over vaccine safety
There is also a growing concern over vaccine safety and efficacy. Highly respected and credentialed Dr. Tess Lawrie PhD has recently stated, “there is more than enough evidence to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans.”
Medical coercion via vaccine passports is a violation of human rights.
The UN Economic and Social Council has stated that the right to health under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights contains both freedoms and entitlements: “The freedoms include the right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedom, and the right to be free from interference, such as the right to be free from torture, non-consensual medical treatment and experimentation.”
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Resolution 2361 (2021) (7.3.1 – 7.3.2) stated: “With respect to ensuring a high vaccine uptake, ensure that citizens are informed that the vaccination is not mandatory and that no one is under political, social or other pressure to be vaccinated if they do not wish to do so and ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated.”
The Australian Human Rights Commission stated: “Australians have been and continue to be exposed to potentially unnecessary restrictions of their rights and freedoms because of the lack of transparency and accountability and Covid-19 emergency measures must be prescribed by law, be necessary and proportionate, must be justified and regularly scrutinised, must be temporary and must be non-discriminatory.”
In a discussion of the s 51(ix) of the Constitution quarantine power in Attorney-General (Vict) v The Commonwealth (“Pharmaceutical Benefits Case”) (1945) 71 CLR 237 at 257, Latham CJ held in obiter: “The [Commonwealth] parliament could not pass a law requiring citizens of the States to keep their premises clean or to submit to vaccination or immunization.”
Off-patent drugs showing effectiveness as prophylaxis
There is growing evidence on an almost daily basis of the effectiveness of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis treatments for COVID. 100% of the 18 randomised controlled trials for early treatment and prophylaxis with Ivermectin reported positive effects with an estimated improvement of 70-83%.
Further, there are seven peer reviewed published studies on the use of Ivermectin as a prophylaxis showing on average 88% effectiveness.
A system of vaccine passports risks creating two classes of citizens and this bill is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of all Australians and the free flow of people and commerce throughout the nation. The No Domestic Vaccine Passports Bill would prevent the following scenes within state borders of the Commonwealth of Australia:
Click to Expand (Rest the Rest of Bill)
NOTES ON CLAUSES
Clause 1: Short Title This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the No Domestic COVID Vaccine Passports Act 2021.
Clause 2: Commencement This clause states the whole of the Act will commence on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.
Clause 3: Definitions This clause defines terms used in the Act, some of which have the same meaning as others in the Act while others are newly defined.
Authority means a Commonwealth, State or Territory entity including a council.
Business means both a profit and a not-for-profit business.
COVID means the coronavirus.
COVID vaccine passport means a vaccine passport, vaccine pass, vaccine certificate or other standardised documentation including in electronic form issued for the purposes of certifying to a third party when an individual has received a COVID vaccination.
Employment means work under a contract for services including part-time and temporary work.
Premises means stadiums and other sporting facilities, theatres, concert halls and other performance venues.
Provision of goods or services means the provision of accommodation except the right of people to control who comes into their own homes; the provision of education including school, university or other institution; the provision of goods and services.
Services means services relating to banking, insurance and the provision of grants, loans, credit or finance; services relating to entertainment, recreation or refreshment; services relating to transport or travel; services provided by professional or trade; services provided by government, a government authority or a local government body.
Vaccination means traditional-style vaccines, novel and experimental genetic injectable material, chemoprophylaxis by the administration of medication.
Voluntary body means a not-for-profit association or other body.
Clause 4: Meaning of discriminates Not limited to the following, a person discriminates against the other person on the basis of whether the other person has received a COVID vaccination if the first person requests or requires the other person to produce a COVID vaccine passport or if the first person discriminates against the other person on the basis of whether the other person has a COVID vaccine passport. A person can discriminate against the other person on 2 or more bases including the basis of whether the other person has received a COVID vaccination.
Clause 5: Binding the Crown This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.
Clause 6: Extension to external Territories This Act extends to external Territories.
Clauses 7 to 9: Prohibition on issuing COVID vaccine passports and discrimination on basis of vaccination
The Commonwealth, States and Territories must not issue COVID vaccine passports and must not discriminate based on whether a person has received a COVID vaccination.
Note this does not apply to discrimination against an officer or employee of a particular State. The Commonwealth, States and Territories can give information about whether a person has received a COVID vaccination to a court, hospital or medical practitioner.
The Commonwealth and Territories must not enter into an agreement, provide a funding grant or grant a licence to a State, Territory, business or voluntary body reasonably likely to discriminate against a person on the basis of whether that person has received a COVID vaccination.
If a Commonwealth, State or Territory authority, business or voluntary body has in the past discriminated on the basis of whether a person has received a COVID vaccination it is taken to be reasonably likely to discriminate on that same basis in the future unless the contrary is proved.
Clause 10: Other entities This clause applies to non-government entities.
A person employing another person must not discriminate against the other person based on whether the other person has received a COVID vaccination.
Businesses must not discriminate against a person in the provision of goods and services and giving the person access to business premises based on whether the person has received a COVID vaccination.
Voluntary bodies must not discriminate against a person with regards to membership, permission to participate in activities, the provision of goods or services and giving the person access to premises based on whether the person has received a COVID vaccination.
Clause 11: Does not prevent compliance with foreign laws
Clauses 7 to 12 do not apply to discrimination undertaken for purposes relating to compliance with a foreign law. For example, a doctor could issue a certificate for the purpose of foreign travel.
Clause 12: Overrides other laws
Clauses 7 to 12 overrides other Commonwealth, State or Territory laws that requires or permits discrimination based on whether a person has received a COVID vaccination.
Clause 13: Constitutional basis of this Act This Act gives effect to Australia’s international obligations, in particular the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 12) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 7, 17 and 26).
Clause 14: Additional operation of clauses 8 and 10 Discrimination by States and Other entities is prohibited where it is expressly confined to discrimination undertaken during Trade and Commerce and Insurance, using a Communications service to which Section 51(v) of the Constitution applies, and undertaken by a Corporation or in a Territory.
Overview of the bill
This bill prohibits the Commonwealth, States and Territories and other non-government entities from issuing domestic vaccine passports or certification and also prohibits discrimination on the basis of whether a person has had a COVID vaccination in the provision of goods, services and facilities and also in employment, education, accommodation and sport.
A system of vaccine passports risks creating two classes of citizens and this bill is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of all Australians and the free flow of people and commerce throughout the nation.
This bill supports the inalienable rights and freedoms of all Australians.
This bill is compatible with human rights because it advances the protection of individual rights and freedoms and the freedom from unfair discrimination promoting equality before the law.
Download or View Bill using links above, but here is the section that mentions Ivermectin.
No Domestic COVID Vaccine Passports Bill 2021
A Bill for an Act to protect the right of Australians to make their own health decisions in relation to COVID vaccination, and for related purposes
vaccination includes receiving any of the following for the purposes of preventing or reducing the risk of COVID infection:
(a) traditional-style vaccines containing a virus or bacterium (or part of a virus or bacterium) as the antigen in a form that is not harmful;
(b) novel, experimental genetic injectable material that tells the body to make an antigen that in turn tells the body to create antibodies;
(c) chemoprophylaxis by the administration (whether oral, nasal or by injection) of a medication (including hydroxychloroquine, IOTA-carrageenan, Ivermectin , Povidone-iodine, Quercetin, vitamin D and zinc, or any combination of them).
Senator ROBERTS (Queensland) (21:19): As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I ask: what’s happening to our country? On COVID, due to the overseas deaths early last year, I was cooperative and supportive from the start. On 23 March 2020 and 8 April 2020, on single-day sittings in this Senate, we gave the government a blank cheque. But I added, on behalf of constituents, that we would hold the government accountable and we expected data and a plan. I mentioned the most successful nation was successful without crippling its economy because it did not cripple its economy. I mentioned ivermectin. Yet we never heard back—no data and no plan. Like people across Australia, I now have important questions.
People are feeling scared. Some are terrified, lost, hopeless, daunted and confused. People are feeling unsafe because of the vaccine side effects. People are feeling insecure because crucial, universal human needs are not being met—needs like security, health, reassurance, trust, confidence, support, leadership, honesty, competence, care, freedom, ease, calm and direction.
Where’s the plan for managing the virus and our economy? There’s clearly inconsistent behaviour across our states, and the national government has revealed no plan. Queensland, Victoria and WA have deepened fear and insecurity to win elections and to control people. Governments have abandoned the people and removed accountability. I asked the Chief Medical Officer, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the head of the federal health department to confirm my list of strategies that should be part of a plan for managing the virus.
Isolation is one. Testing, tracing and quarantining is another. Then there are restrictions, cures and prophylactics, vaccines, personal behaviour, and health and fitness. That’s seven I’ve raised with them. They’ve agreed with all seven. But we only see three in use, and then only partially, with crude and limited impact on the virus and a huge economic and social cost.
In response to my question in Senate estimates in March, I received data on the severity and transmissibility of this virus. The mortality is known by the health authorities to be low to severe. In fact, Senator Rex Patrick didn’t even know he had the virus. Others with comorbidity, though, can die. Just like with the flu, there’s a huge range of symptoms. So why do the Chief Medical Officer and the health department not publicly separate out each of the group’s mortality rates? Is it because people need to be kept in fear?
Now our taxes are being given to big pharma for unproven and risky vaccines. Let’s consider some of those risks and facts. There have been deaths from the vaccine. Thousands of people overseas have died from it. There have been a wide variety of side effects from the vaccine, such as blood clots. The health minister, Mr Hunt, had cellulitis, reportedly a known vaccine side effect, and was hospitalised. The Chief Medical Officer, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the head of the federal health department refuse to declare the vaccine as 100 per cent safe.
So my first question is: how did the vaccines get provisional approval? They said there were no alternative vaccines available. But wait—once the first was approved provisionally, the others faced an approved alternative. So how did the others get provisional approval? The vaccines fail to prevent transmission of the virus. The vaccines fail to stop someone getting the virus and getting sick. Intergenerational effects are not known at all. The vaccine’s effect against mutations is still unknown. The dosage is unknown. Vaccine frequency, number and time between jabs are still all unknown. Are people going to be jabbed forever? The vaccine fails to remove restrictions on our lifestyle. The vaccine fails to open up international borders.
The vaccine makers all lack integrity. They have been fined billions of dollars—not hundreds of millions but billions of dollars—for misrepresenting their products. The health minister himself said, ‘The world is engaged in the largest clinical vaccination trial.’ I am not a lab rat. Australians should not be treated as lab rats.This is the first time in history that healthy people have been injected with something that could kill them—and yet, on ivermectin, this is the first time that sick people have been denied medicine that is safe and successful for COVID, as multiple overseas jurisdictions prove.
Let’s move on to ivermectin. I took it successfully in 2014 for something else. Some 3.7 billion doses have been given over six decades. It is prescribed for many ailments. There’s no risk. It’s safe. It’s cheap because it’s off patent. It’s affordable. It is being used successfully overseas to treat COVID en masse, regionally and nationally. There are 250 medical papers in support of ivermectin—proven successful with COVID. In times of emergency, when four vaccines are provisionally approved, and adults are vaccinated—and now kids, despite the early warnings, and now pregnant mothers, apparently—why isn’t a proven, safe and affordable treatment like ivermectin provisionally approved? If no-one has made application, why didn’t the government get off its hands and do it? The government has blood on its hands.
My second question is: why have four unproven, untested and risky vaccines been given provisional approval, yet one known, safe treatment has not been given provisional approval, despite extensive medical papers and successful widespread use overseas? What happened to basic freedoms? What is happening to Australia? I received a letter from the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week threatening me because I shared some facts publicly. I dared to ask questions. I have a duty as an elected representative to share the facts. The Therapeutic Goods Administration calls that ‘advertising’—in an effort, apparently, to control me. I have a duty to the people of Australia to promote debate and understanding for informed debate. Without that there can be no informed consent, and without informed consent there can be no vaccination or treatment. People are free in our country to make what they want of the facts. The Therapeutic Goods Administration seems to think that discussing facts and data is advertising. Whose side is the TGA on—the people or Big Pharma?
My third question is: what are the connections between Big Pharma, Monash University, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Gates Foundation, Google and Facebook? Think about this. Google’s parent company is Alphabet. It owns YouTube, which took down one of my videos on the topic. Google owns 12 per cent of Vaccitech, which created the AstraZeneca vaccine. Aren’t these conflicts of interest? Another possible conflict of interest is surely Sequoia Capital, a venture fund known for making millions from early funding of Google, YouTube and Apple. Sequoia owns 10 per cent of Vaccitech. I have no financial or other ties with vaccine makers, ivermectin or drug companies. My interest is ensuring that we protect people’s health and safety—our nation’s health and safety. So what happened to basic freedoms? What is happening to our country? Coercion seems widespread and primed for stronger, wider, more extensive coercion. Let’s have a look at some of the types of coercion: letters from so-called authorities intimidating people; threats to doctors; threats to employees of withholding employment or livelihood—a basic means of survival; media intimidation from the legacy media; journalists labelling and misrepresenting people. It’s no wonder that mainstream media is rapidly becoming the legacy media. There is also government funding of media companies on vaccine propaganda. But I do want to single out one journalist. Adam Creighton, in the Australian, has done a fabulous job of exposing and sharing the facts.
We move on now to what the government is calling a ‘digital certificate’. Is that going to become a digital passport? Will there be the withdrawal of people’s basic access to amenities, transport, travel and jobs unless they get the jab? Will there be the withdrawal of livelihood—the ability to live? This is not a digital passport; it’s a digital prison. Social media threats: Facebook and YouTube take down posts and threaten shutdown. Always, beneath control, there is fear. So my fourth question is: of what are authorities afraid? Clearly, it’s not the virus, because they have no plan. They’re afraid of people, the truth and freedom. Freedom is so easily squashed.
The key question is: why is there no government action to approve ivermectin? I call on the government not to wait for an application for approval and to get on with the job of inquiring about, and investigating, ivermectin and approving it. Australians, I call on you to decide for yourselves. Compare ivermectin and the vaccine. Consider the actions of federal and state governments. What happened to basic freedoms? What happened to Australia? Are you willing to help us bring back Australia?
In achieving good health to avoid COVID-19 or other illness, we have the right to select from several practices and vaccination may not necessarily be included.
Vaccination, and by extension, the passport may be described as non-compulsory but such is a misnomer when the passport would ultimately be required for most aspects of civil life including travel, banking, supermarkets, medical centres, sport and social events.
It would be come a Licence to Live.
A vaccination passport has no place in a free society.
from 60072 citizens (Petition No. EN2626)
We therefore ask the House to campaign and vote AGAINST any legislation; regulation or rule which may lead to a ‘vaccination passport’ being introduced.
June 2 2021
Community Affairs Legislation Committee: Department of Health
Re: Overseas people coming into Australia:
Is there documentation they need to provide to tell you they have been vaccinated?
Senator GREEN: Alright. We’re about to finish this section of Health. So I just have one other question. Again, I want to thank you particularly, Dr Murphy, for spending so much time with us and answering so many questions. We have one follow-up question from earlier that I want to get on the record to understand how this is working. You gave us a lot of information about the data you have on vaccinated aged-care workers, and we’ve got information on how we’re tracking aged-care residents with vaccines and information about the quarantining rates of vaccines.
As part of that, is the Department of Health recording if Australians have received a vaccination overseas if they have come home through the hotel quarantine; if so, what type of vaccination that is; and is there documentation they need to provide to tell you they have been vaccinated? I understand some countries are providing almost a vaccine passport . Is that built in the process?
CHAIR: Senator Green, we did finish off aged care prior to this section.
Senator GREEN: I just wanted to come back in the last five minutes I have and just check this.
CHAIR: Can we put this on notice?
Senator GREEN: If they’ve got the answer, it’s something that people should—
Senator DEAN SMITH: You can’t go backwards.
Senator GREEN: I’m not going backwards. I’m asking an important question about vaccines.
Senator DEAN SMITH: It feels like deja vu.
Senator GREEN: If you want to run interference instead of letting Dr Murphy answer the question—
Senator DEAN SMITH: You don’t know what interference looks like.
Senator GREEN: You don’t have to threaten me.
CHAIR: I’m happy for him to answer it if he wants to, but I’m also very conscious of the fact that we were here to do outcome 2.
Senator GREEN: I’m just asking a really important question that we need to understand about where people are getting information.
CHAIR: You’ve put it on the record and it’s up to the officials if they want to answer it or take it on notice.
Senator GREEN: They were about to answer it before you stepped in. So it wouldn’t be a good look if they didn’t answer it now.
Dr Murphy : I think Ms Edwards might comment.
Senator GREEN: Thank you.
Dr Murphy : Very briefly, this is an evolving area. We do not have any requirements, or relaxation of quarantine requirements, for people under the state and territory public health orders for vaccination. We will be working through which vaccinations overseas we will be able to recognise at some stage. We will have to get the TGA—there are some vaccines we wouldn’t recognise. It’s an evolving area. At the moment we are not collecting that information. Some of the states and territories are asking people as they come into hotel quarantine whether they’ve been vaccinated. Ms Edwards might add something.
Ms Edwards : I will just add that there are obviously two real issues we will need to deal with going forward. One is the extent to which there’s a record of vaccination that might be of interest to us in terms of what that means for you in the community, and that’s an evolving issue. But the other issue of course is personal healthcare. We want people to have a record of what care they’ve had.
So we are going to have to work with our records and the My Health Record and so on to say: ‘What vaccine? Will it be recognised? How should we record it?’ Obviously, there are all sorts of issues for an individual, for example: ‘In what circumstances and in which place did you get the vaccine? How can we be clear that you have the right level of protection if we don’t know the manner of it?’
We will be able to come to an agreement with some countries about the clinical mechanisms; others we may not. So it’s a very complex issue.
At this point we are not collecting that information for people arriving. But the sharing of vaccination information is something that the whole world will have to grapple with going forward.
Senator GREEN: Great. Could you take that on notice, then. It would be good to understand what is happening right now and if states and territories are recording that information. Finally, I think it would be helpful to understand what the plan to record that information going forward is.
Dr Murphy : Well, we’re developing a plan and, as Ms Edwards said, we have to work out which certificates other countries will trust for which vaccines and all of that sort of stuff.
Senator GREEN: Yes, that is an important part of it. That’s what I was getting at.
Ms Edwards : We can certainly take on notice the extent to which states and territories might be collecting it and any other information we have to hand. But, in terms of the plan, I suspect there might be a question for you to ask us and other agencies in the future.
Senator GREEN: Which other agencies?
Dr Murphy : Home Affairs have also been doing some international work on digital recognition.
Ms Edwards : And DFAT are bringing people back and are responsible for what happens at the border and what happens with arrivals.
Dr Murphy : There are lots of departments involved.
Ms Edwards : It’s a whole-of-government issue.
Senator GREEN: Perhaps it’s a COVID committee issue with a couple of different agencies around the table.
Dr Murphy : That could be useful.
Ms Edwards : Far be it from me to recommend a COVID hearing!
Senator GREEN: I am sure there will be more. I’m not on the committee, so I can’t decide that. Thank you.
CHAIR: It’s now 9 pm, and we’ve exhausted, I think—apart from lots of questions on notice—outcome 2, Individual Health Benefits. So we’ll be able to release those officials, and we’ll be returning at 9.15 with outcome 4, Sport and Recreation. I thank everybody for their patience in waiting.
Senator RENNICK: It can wait until the TGA. It is worth noting, though, that we haven’t had any COVID deaths this year in Australia, have we, from people who have contracted it here?
Dr Murphy : Not from people who contracted it here.
Senator RENNICK: Ultimately, in terms of this whole race, it’s all about safety. The vaccine is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is the safety of Australians.
CHAIR: Senator Rennick, have you got questions? I am trying to clarify to give you the call.
Senator RENNICK: No. I will wait until the TGA.
CHAIR: Senator Roberts, what are your questions? I want to clarify yours as well.
Senator ROBERTS: They are continuing on the vaccine.
CHAIR: Are they for the TGA, or are they just to the general whole of portfolio?
Senator ROBERTS: Whole of portfolio.
CHAIR: I will give Senator Roberts the call. There are five or three questions that we had before.
Senator ROBERTS: I will finish off on one I touched on briefly. The intergenerational effects of the vaccine are unknown. The effect of the vaccine on transmission is unknown. GPs are not even allowed to see which vaccine they have available. Australians have a right to know. The foundation of informed consent is accurate and full information. How is it possible to achieve real informed consent in this information vacuum?
Dr Murphy : The GPs are certainly able to say which vaccines they have available. They provide informed consent—
Senator ROBERTS: I will interrupt there. I attended a presentation by you and Professor Kelly saying that the vaccine injections would not be disclosing which vaccine was given at that time where people go to get their injection.
Dr Skerritt : They are not given a choice.
Senator Colbeck: I think you’re talking about two different things. Clearly, at this stage of the rollout, the GPs are distributing AstraZeneca. The issue would have been the choice. Perhaps there might have been some other issues.
Senator ROBERTS: Nonetheless, Minister, with so many effects unknown, how can there be informed consent?
Senator Colbeck: I’m not going to try to give you health advice. I will defer.
Dr Murphy : Professor Kelly might be able to address that. I will be very clear. People undergoing the informed consent process are very clear about which vaccine they are getting. We’re not disguising the vaccine. Professor Kelly can go through the informed consent process.
Prof. Kelly : Informed consent is a very important component of any medical procedure or treatment. Doctors do that with their patients every day every time they see them, pretty much. They are talking through the pros and cons of various, in this case, vaccines. As the secretary has said, it’s pretty clear if you turn up to a GP at the moment. With a couple of exceptions, almost all GPs are only using one vaccine. For those over the age of 50, it is AstraZeneca. The benefits of it in the particular circumstances of the person in front of them would be discussed in great detail. We’ve provided a lot of very detailed information, based on the ATAGI advice, on that risk and benefit equation for GPs and other medical practitioners and nurses to use.
Senator ROBERTS: Thank you. My first question goes to the question of mandatory vaccination. Is the government considering mandatory vaccination?
Dr Murphy : The government has repeatedly said that it is not considering mandatory vaccination for COVID vaccines or any other vaccines.
Senator ROBERTS: Is a vaccine passport still under consideration?
Dr Murphy : The only situation, as we referred to earlier today, is where a state or territory, for example, may refuse entry to a residential aged care facility. That is the position that AHPPC is considering. That is not mandating vaccination. It is basically saying that it may be not possible to participate in a certain activity unless you’ve been vaccinated. But it has not been a position so far. AHPPC is reconsidering it.
Ms Edwards : Obviously the issue with medical advice is the extent to which, and whether and when, you might want to limit access to aged care facilities, which the secretary is talking about. The broader issue of whether there is a vaccine passport to identify you’ve had a vaccine and what impact that might have internationally or otherwise is a matter for the Department of Home Affairs.
Dr Murphy : We are providing citizens with evidence of vaccination. They can get a vaccination certificate. They can use that in whatever way they choose.
Senator ROBERTS: That is essentially a vaccine passport, isn’t it, Ms Edwards?
Ms Edwards : It would be a certificate. The Australian Immunisation Register has been around for quite a long time. It got expanded a few years ago to cover all vaccinations. It will have the evidence of your vaccination for COVID-19. You can access it in a printed form or electronically. It has evidence that you have had the vaccine. There is no activity at the moment that you are either permitted or prevented from doing by virtue of vaccine status. Obviously, it is medical information for you.
Senator ROBERTS: So that vaccine register should be confidential, shouldn’t it?
Ms Edwards : It is.
Dr Murphy : It is. But each citizen can print their own certificate and they can use it as they choose fit.
Ms Edwards : We use it for aggregated data. So a lot of the data we’re getting about how many people have been vaccinated, not just for the COVID-19 vaccine but for the range of vaccines that we know, is drawn out of the Australian Immunisation Register in a de-identified, aggregated form.
Senator ROBERTS: So a vaccine passport, though, could be established for restricting the movement of people or entry of people to a specific venue?
Ms Edwards : Well, it is a hypothetical question, not one within the remit of the health department. All we’re talking about is having evidence that you have had the vaccine, which is really important, apart from anything else, so that people know what your risk is if you come into contact with COVID-19. It is also used in vaccination clinics to check that it is your second dose. If you turn up for your second dose, they’ll check the register that you’ve had one dose of AstraZeneca and it is time for the second one. It is used for those safety reasons for an individual. It is evidence of the medical treatment that you’ve had. But any further use of it is not in contemplation that I am aware of. We are certainly not involved in that. The question about how it might be used internationally and so on is a matter for Home Affairs.
Senator ROBERTS: Where would Home Affairs get their advice from? It would be from you, wouldn’t it?
Ms Edwards : They would seek health advice from us and advice about how the immunisation register works and so on together with Services Australia. They would be engaging with other agencies as well.
Senator ROBERTS: As I see it, threatening Australians with the loss of privileges, free movement, a job or even a livelihood without a vaccine passport is really creating a digital prison.
Ms Edwards : I am not aware of any proposal to do any of those things.
Senator ROBERTS: Are not aware of any? Is the government enforcing vaccination through coercion if that were to occur?
Senator Colbeck: That is a hypothetical question and it is an opinion. I don’t think it is appropriate to ask the officials that question.
Senator ROBERTS: People expect the vaccine to do more than prevent deaths, more than not cause deaths. People expect the vaccine to bring back life as we knew it, with the removal of all restrictions and the resumption of international travel. Clearly, while acknowledging the many unknowns that you commendably and openly acknowledged this morning, what percentage of vaccination unlocks the gate and removes the restrictions and when?
Dr Murphy : I think Professor Kelly can address the fact that that is still an unknown parameter. Our knowledge is evolving. Professor Kelly has been asked this question on many occasions.
Prof. Kelly : I have since answered it. Thank you, Secretary.
Senator ROBERTS: We’re still asking it.
Prof. Kelly : I will get to your question. On my phone through my Medicare app, I have proof of my vaccination. It arrived within 24 hours of that vaccination happening. It just shows that this is already happening. Anyone who has had a vaccination will be able to access it. If it is needed to be shown, it is there.
Senator ROBERTS: We are not worried about that. My constituents are very worried about it becoming a condition of entry to a venue or to travel or something like that.
Prof. Kelly : Well, as the associate secretary has mentioned, that is a matter for other parts of government to consider. We will provide medical advice about how that information can be verified in terms of a vaccine that we trust and know works. As to your question about the target, this has come up on multiple occasions. I guess my answer is that these are non-binary states. So every single extra person who is vaccinated in Australia is part of our path to the post COVID future you’re describing. There’s no magical figure that says when we get to that, we’ve reached herd immunity and everything will be fine. Rather it is a process of getting towards that. We do need quite high coverage, though, to be able to get to the situation where, for most of the time, a seeding event, such as what we are experiencing in Victoria right now, will not lead to a large outbreak. So that is modelling that is being done at the moment by colleagues at the Doherty in Melbourne and others. It is part of the work that AHPPC has been asked to do to provide information into Mr Gaetjens’s committee, which is in turn providing information and advice to national cabinet.
Senator ROBERTS: Thank you. Where is the government’s plan for managing the COVID virus? There are six components the three of us discussed at the last Senate estimates. There is isolation lockdown; testing and tracing; quarantining and restrictions; and treatments, cures and prophylactics. The fifth was vaccines. Then you added, I think, Professor Kelly, personal behaviours as No. 6. Perhaps we could add a seventh, and that is prevention through health and fitness, because we’re seeing now that obesity and comorbidities are a big predictor of people dying from COVID. When will we see action in No. 4, which is treatments, cures and prophylactics, and health and fitness?
Dr Murphy : I can perhaps address treatments. The scientific and technical advisory committee, which is the committee that looks at the vaccines, also has a watching brief on all treatments and has considered whether there are any treatments that we recommend the government purchase. The TGA obviously is also reviewing treatments as they appear. We also have an evidence taskforce that looks at the real-time evidence of treatments. At this stage, there are very limited options for treatment other than vaccines. Professor Skerritt can perhaps give you more information.
Dr Skerritt : Thank you, Secretary. At the moment, in Australia, the clinical evidence taskforce endorses three TGA approved treatments. They depend on how sick you are, whether you need oxygen and so forth. If you’re in hospital requiring oxygen, corticosteroids are recommended for use with COVID patients. I would venture to say that globally they’ve probably been the most successful intervention. A drug called remdesivir is approved for moderate to severely ill patients who don’t require oxygen or ventilation. More recently there is a drug that was originally an arthritis drug known as tocilizumab. I don’t get to name them.
Senator ROBERTS: You barely get to pronounce them.
Dr Skerritt : There’s a trick here. They have unpronounceable names so everyone uses the trade name. That is the trick. Tocilizumab is for people who do require oxygen. What we don’t have yet—I think I may have said this at the last estimates—is an antiviral drug that is up there as effective as the recent antiviral drugs for hepatitis C or HIV. But, trust me, there is a major effort of companies working on that area. The other thing that has been coming through the system and seems to be getting better are these antibody based treatments. We are currently looking at an antibody called sotrovimab. It has some very promising early results. We’re currently assessing that. We have always said that antivirals and other treatments will be important for a range of reasons, one of which is that even with the greatest adherence to, say, the three-week gap Pfizer vaccination or the 12-week gap for AstraZeneca vaccination, neither treatment is 100 per cent effective against catching or transmitting the virus. They seem to be very effective against death or hospitalisation. But we do know that treatments will play an important part in getting on top of this virus.
Senator ROBERTS: I will build on that. You didn’t address item No. 7, health and fitness, which I suggested. The focus on the vaccine is not addressing the end-to-end from prevention to resilience to treatment. Don’t we need the full gamut of comprehensive and complementary approaches? What would that look like? Would it not include Ivermectin, assuming someone sponsors it, and other treatments for those who want alternatives to vaccines, because there are people who want alternatives?
Dr Skerritt : Well, very briefly, on general health, the fact of people going to general practitioners and having the COVID vaccination is always an opportunity for the GP to have a quick discussion that, ‘Hey, smoking doesn’t actually help your respiratory chances with COVID.’ There are some mixed messages out there and some mixed results. For example, a lot of people with asthma were very worried early in the COVID pandemic. One asthma drug called budesonide, an orally inhaled steroid, is actually quite effective in the early stages of COVID. So people with asthma, for example, in general, especially if they are on those drugs, don’t seem to have been affected. But it is true that if you have comorbidities such as diabetes and so forth, your risks of COVID infection are greater. That is why in phase 1b, a number of people who, for example, had drug resistant hypertension or had diabetes and so on were prioritised early for vaccination.
Going back to other therapies, we are always interested in evidence based submissions for any other therapy. Some of the early papers suggested, for example, that hydroxychloroquine had a lot of promise. When objective blinded trials were run, the early promise, very sadly, didn’t hold up.
Senator ROBERTS: Thank you, Chair. I will leave it there.
CHAIR: Thank you. It is now four o’clock. We will now go to a break. We will be coming back on whole of portfolio and corporate matters for a little while. Hopefully, we will be able to round off outcome 1.8 and 1.9 fairly shortly after that. We will see you back at 4.15 pm.
Moving away from Communist China and the threat that that poses to us, I will talk about some threats at home, particularly a threat to freedom. This idea of COVID vaccine passports is one that is anathema to freedom. It is anathema to freedom because no Australian should have to carry around papers in their own country to go to places. I understand there is concern about state premiers shutting borders if someone sneezes on the other side, but the answer to that is not a domestic COVID vaccine passport . The answer to that is the Commonwealth taking state premiers to the High Court for breach of the Constitution, which actually says that there is to be free and unfettered movement between states. We are one nation, after all, not a conglomerate of nations. We are one nation.
It is disgraceful that in this country the Prime Minister was stopped from going to a particular Australian state. I cannot understand that. Many Australians cannot understand that. But the answer is not to bring in something that will be, ‘Your papers, please,’ if you want to get to a certain area—and it will be used and abused in other circumstances. I am sure that businesses will actually say, ‘Show us your papers if you want to come and dine in our place or if you want our service.’ We’ve even had airlines saying that they will need to see some form of proof of vaccination. I just think that this is something beyond the pale. I quote US statesman Benjamin Franklin, who said:
‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’
In the long run, he is right, because we will probably get neither if we keep moving down that path. The Wuhan coronavirus is going to be with us forever, just like the flu is. The question is: are we going to keep on locking down, masking up and shutting out forever and have a situation where Australians are going to have to present to someone a document when they say, ‘Your papers, please’? It just seems like we are heading down a path that is going to be bereft of the freedoms that we once enjoyed in this nation.
Along with that, I want to take this opportunity to talk about another particular freedom which must be seen to in the time that we have left in this term of parliament, and that is religious freedom. The government, going into the last election, promised that they would legislate for religious freedom. I am saying right here, right now, that it will be a broken promise unless the government actually steps up and passes legislation that is in accord with all of the faith groups who backed us on that policy. So I am calling on the new Attorney-General to actually present that legislation to the House in an amended form that conforms to what the churches and other faith groups actually want, so that they have true protection under the law from discrimination—so we don’t see a repeat of the situation when the Archbishop of Tasmania was actually dragged before the antidiscrimination tribunal for sending out a booklet to Catholic school students on the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage. It is insane that we have that situation in this country, but we do have it. That is why this legislation is needed—so we don’t have pastors, Christians, Jews or anyone of faith hauled up before some jumped-up kangaroo court to answer for what they believe in. That is wrong.
Finally, I go from those freedoms—the freedom of choice around vaccines, freedom of movement and the freedom of faith—to a fundamental freedom, and that is the right to life. I am putting up a private members bill to this place and I intend to pursue it with vigour. That private member’s bill has been drafted. It is called the Human Rights (Children Born Alive) Protection Bill 2021. It says that children who are viable, who are born alive as a result of an abortion in this country, should be afforded medical treatment. That is in line with our international obligations under the International Covenant on the Rights of the Child, which says two things. At article 6, it says that every child shall have the right to life, and it goes on to say that all state parties must provide services to ensure that right to life. Article 24 talks about the provision of health services and actually states that no child shall be deprived of the provision of health services because of the circumstances of their birth.
I have to tell you that, from the data I have seen, around this country, hundreds of children are born alive as a result of abortions every year and are simply left to die. Not all of them are unviable. I have testimony to that fact. Children who are viable, born alive, prematurely, as a result of an abortion, are left to die. That is not in accordance with the international obligations that we as a nation have signed up to under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. So I will pursue that legislation with vigour in this House while I remain in this parliament. The right to life is a fundamental freedom. The right to liberty and the right to movement are fundamental freedoms.
In summing up, I will state that we must protect these freedoms in this place because, if we don’t, what then is the point of all the spending on defence? What are we actually protecting? We’re protecting ourselves against other nations that might do us harm and bring in totalitarianism here. We’ve got to protect freedom here as well. That’s why I’m supportive of the budget and it’s defence spending. But I am also supportive of protecting the freedoms that many of our diggers fought so hard for and sacrificed their lives for.
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