Hello. Russell Broadbent here, member for Monash.

Recently, I’ve been sharing stories about doctors who were suspended from practice during Covid.  Today, I’m sharing the story of a doctor who wasn’t suspended, but was forced to close her practice because she refused to take the experimental jab.

Let me tell you about Dr Monique. 

Dr Monique had over thirty years medical experience and twenty years as a consultant psychiatrist when she was forced to close her medical practice due to the mandates. 

Prior to this, she was highly respected, had an unblemished record and loved her job.  Moreover, Dr Monique held steadfastly to her oath to ‘do no harm’ – to never intentionally harm anyone; least of all the vulnerable patients she was caring for. 

When the mandates were announced, Dr Monique was given just four days to make arrangements and close her practice after which she was forbidden to even access her own work place.  Failure to comply would have jeopardised her medical registration, and potentially attract a heavy fine. 

Dr Monique says her patients were harmed directly through the diabolical mandates, as they found themselves suddenly discharged from her care.  Many of these patients were in the early stages, or mid-way through essential mental health therapy.

I ask, how is this ‘protecting patients’?

Dr Monique suffered irreparable harms to her career, reputation, finances, health, and personal relationships.  Her attempts to seek remedy under Human Rights or Anti-discrimination frameworks failed.  She had no trial and no avenue of appeal.  In her words – she was ‘disappeared, censored and silenced’.

This is just one of the many stories I’ve been told by doctors, and I have to ask – is any wonder our health system is struggling when medical professionals being treated this way?

Hundreds, if not thousands, of healthcare professionals were sidelined by the mandates and many of these still do not have their jobs back.  I’ve been calling for this mandate madness to stop.

This madness must end. Now.

And that’s justice as I see it.

Josh Hawkes is a Victorian firefighter who is still unable to work due to vaccine mandates.

Since my chat with Josh, the New Zealand Court of Appeal has found that a workplace mandate forcing defence force personnel to be vaccinated against covid-19 was unlawful.

Will we see more of these decisions in Australia?

The Victorian and Australian Governments will make available a Prolonged Power Outage Payment to households and small businesses without power for 7 days as a result of last Tuesday’s storms.

A payment of $1,920 per week will be extended to all eligible households (residential customers) that remain without power as of 12:01am Tuesday 20 February 2024. Households who may be eligible will be proactively notified by their distribution business.

Funding will be allocated through a payment application process, by which residential customers will be invited to apply for the payment. The payment will be administered by distribution businesses.

For small businesses (those with a Victorian payroll less than $10 million a year) who are affected, payments of $2,927 per week will be made.

More information at: www.energy.vic.gov.au/safety/power-outages

Russell Broadbent, Independent Member for Monash.

I recently had the privilege of speaking with leading data analyst Ed Dowd, about the alarming rates of excess deaths around the world in the wake of the Covid pandemic. 

Over the weekend he posted some horrifying data from the UK showing that “excess deaths from cardiovascular diseases in people aged 15-44 rose by about 13% in 2020, 30% in 2021 and about 44% in 2022”.

But it’s not just the UK – the rate of excess deaths continues unabated here in our nation too. The number of people I’m hearing about that have suffered strokes or heart attacks is staggering.

So, what’s the cause?  

Was it the lockdowns? Was it the delayed medical care? Was it the overwhelmed healthcare system which still has healthy workers sidelined due to mandates?

Or dare I say, it was the experimental mRNA jabs? Ed certainly thinks so.

The data is there for all the world to see.  If I can view it, then the government and the healthcare authorities can view it too. But we hear nothing in the media or from the government.

Whatever the cause for these excess deaths, one thing is clear: if our nation’s response to Covid was a test, we’ve failed catastrophically.

The lockdowns failed.

The mask mandates failed.

The social distancing failed.

The untested novel vaccines failed.

And the firing of unvaxxed workers failed.

These actions not only failed to stop the infection and transmission but have left a trail of destruction with unprecedented rates of excess deaths.

You’d think the government would be at least a little bit curious as to the cause of our excess deaths, but it’s not. In fact, a couple of weeks ago it voted against such an Inquiry.

None of this makes sense. Australians deserve answers to this serious issue.

That’s justice as I see it.

How can it be that highly trained and experienced anaesthetist and peri-operative physician, Dr Jeyanthi Kunadhasan, is still prevented from working in Victoria due to the covid mandates but she can work in other states?

My question is to the Treasurer. Although it's annoying, there's a reason why banks are asking customers why they want to withdraw cash and what for. A bank manager told me recently that a significant number of customers who came in to withdraw cash were being scammed. Recently in my circle a couple, a sensible couple, were scammed of $100,000, and another friend of mine was scammed of $40,000. Treasurer, what more can we do to protect the Australian people from this evil?

Dr Chalmers replied: I thank the member for Monash for his question and I commend him for his focus on what is a really important issue. I acknowledge his efforts on behalf of his constituents for some time now. This is a big focus for the government as well. For that, I want to be upfront and say that I take absolutely no credit for the government's focus on scams. That's because the work of the Assistant Treasurer in this regard has been absolutely terrific. He has worked tirelessly to tackle and take on this evil in our community and in our economy in a really impressive way. He has done that in collaboration with the banks, key institutions and other ministers, including the Minister for Communications and others. So I pay tribute to him and to his work.

It's a huge issue, and I thank the hundreds of people who come to his community forums around Australia and all the people who come through our doors in our electorate offices and come up to us at mobile offices too, who are evidence enough of that. In 2022, Australians lost over $3 billion to the absolute grubs who try and scam money out of people—often the most vulnerable people but, as the member identifies in his question, not just people that we would traditionally consider to be vulnerable. That's why we're taking decisive action and it's why we have an ambitious agenda here, led, as I said, by the Assistant Treasurer. In last year's budget, we invested $86.5 million in fighting scams and online fraud; $17.6 million for ASIC to bust fake investment websites; $58 million for the ACCC to establish the world-leading National Anti-Scam Centre; and over $10 million for ACMA to establish and enforce an SMS centre ID registry to stop scam texts—and again I acknowledge the work of Minister Rowland.

It's still a big problem, but the crackdown on scams is already showing some signs of success. In the six months since the Anti-Scams Centre was created, losses to scams reduced by 29 per cent compared with the same period in 2022. Call disruption technology saved potential victims from major losses, with one consumer saving 300 grand. By last week, ASIC had taken down 4,220 investment scams websites and there are hundreds more in the works. Early data this year shows overall scam losses are around 40 per cent lower than the same period in 2023. The Assistant Treasurer and the Minister for Communications are also working with telcos and digital platforms to see what else can be done in that regard.

This is a very big focus of the government. There has been some absolutely terrific work done by the Assistant Treasurer. It's a very important and welcomed question from the member for Monash, and I thank him for it.

Australia, listen to me. There is a scourge that is running across this country, and it is unabated. It is scamming. In my circle alone I have one very sensible couple who were scammed of $100,000 through giving information they thought they were giving to their bank. For another friend it was $40,000. These aren't people who are elderly or frail; they are people who have common sense. They are reasonable, they are hardworking and they're losing money right across this country. For heaven 's sake, Australia, listen. The government will do all it can to help you. The bank will do all it can to help you. But please, I beg you: do not give information about your bank to people over the phone. If it is your bank, they know all the information. If it is your local branch ringing, they know all your information. They don't need more. They don't need the number of your bank account. Please. This is everywhere, and it seems to be unsolvable and that the scammers are winning. From this day on, I want Australians to begin winning and stopping the scammers in their tracks.

It's great to hear this. I commend the member for Spence for bringing this motion forward. However, I've been around long enough to have heard a lot of these discussions before. I take you back to the Rudd-Gillard government. In the run-up to the 2007 election, the person who was to become the Prime Minister said: 'We're going to drive down your grocery prices and your fuel prices. We're going to have an inquiry, and then we're going to have GroceryWatch and FuelWatch.' The minister charged with that responsibility during that government was Minister Chris Bowen, who is now the energy minister. The minister who then took over from Chris Bowen was a minister named Craig Emerson, who saw the farce of GroceryWatch and FuelWatch and knew that it wasn't working at all, and he just dropped it and wiped it away.

So it is rather interesting to consider. I have the greatest respect for the minister and Craig Emerson in his capacity and appointment. He certainly has the ability to come up with a very good inquiry. But I think also that, deep in his heart of hearts, he knows that he will not be able to make any difference whatsoever, as my mother used to say, to the price of paint. You won't make any difference to the price of groceries. What we have is a market in Australia dominated by two main players. No government—not this government, not the three governments we had, under three different prime ministers, while we were in government, or before that the two governments, under two different prime ministers, on the Labor side—have made any difference to grocery prices. No. They just keep going up and up and up. And the sizes of the products—as the shoppers who are watching this debate will know—get smaller and smaller and smaller. My wife happens to like a certain brand of marmalade, and the jar used to be about that big. Then it went to that big and got dearer. Now it's down to that big, and it's dearer again. So we're losing at both ends. We're not only seeing the prices increasing, but the size of the product and the volume are decreasing.

After all the fine speeches here today around reducing prices at the supermarket, with investment by government to do that—so we will direct—I put it to you that not one thing will change with regard to the structure of the grocery industry in Australia. Things will only change when the buyer, the shopper, decides to be very clear and concise about their shopping and, rather than taking the convenient Woolies store or the Coles store—

Mr Hill: Go to Dandenong Market!

Mr BROADBENT: goes to Dandenong Market or perhaps Aldi for this, Woolworths for that, Coles for that and IGA for something else. Me, I'm a shocker. I like to go to IGA because they're not owned by the big guys. They're not owned by the internationals. They're just us, and there are good local people working down there. I love going to IGA. This, to me, just reeks of a government saying: 'The cost of living is high. Look at us. Look at us. We're doing something about it.' No, they're not. Don't be hoodwinked. This is just all froth and bubble and will continue to be. In two years time, when this report finally comes through from Craig Emerson, and all the recommendations are there about what they might do—it is the same report that the Rudd government worked on before. I think Mr Emerson could walk into the room, write the report and walk out—just change the date. It won't make any difference until you completely deregulate.

I'll leave you with this. I spoke with an independent grocer the other day, and he said, 'There's the real price of the product, and here's the majors' price of the product—'

The pandemic response is not over while victims still remain.

A year ago today, after I met with Kara Potter I stood in Parliament and made a speech on the horrific injuries caused by the covid vaccine (see here).

Today, I asked Kara to give me an update on what’s happened over the past 12 months. It was shocking then and it’s still shocking today.  

More than 14,500 homes and businesses across the Baw Baw, Latrobe, South Gippsland, Wellington and Bass Coast local government areas can now enjoy access to faster and more reliable speeds at the busiest times thanks to upgrades of the local NBN Fixed Wireless network.  

Using cutting-edge technology, the upgrades are boosting the performance of the NBN Fixed Wireless network to enable a smoother experience, even at the busiest times. By mid-next year the upgrades will also enable access to plans that are around four times faster than what is currently available.   

As well as benefiting from improved speeds, the upgrades are also extending the range of the NBN Fixed Wireless network. Around 775 homes and businesses in the local area that were previously only able to access NBN services via the NBN Sky Muster satellite service, can now access to the NBN Fixed Wireless network for the first time.   

These upgrades come as the latest NBN data shows that homes and business across Australia are using more devices and demanding more data and speed than ever before. In 2023, the NBN network usage records were set and broken three times. The average Australian NBN user downloaded around 423GB per month – an increase of more than 50 per cent compared to three years ago.  

The upgrades to the NBN Fixed Wireless network aim to ensure that the NBN network can stay ahead of this increased demand and continue to support Australians as their need for speed and increased data volumes continues to grow.  

The Fixed Wireless upgrades are one part of NBN’s commitment to delivering better broadband for the regional Australia, which also includes full fibre upgrades via NBN Fibre to the Premises and making uncapped data (subject to fair use policy and shaping) usage available on the NBN Sky Muster Plus satellite network.  

Emily Peel, the head of NBN local Victoria said “We are delighted that we have delivered significant improvements to the local NBN Fixed Wireless network. 

These upgrades mean that customers can enjoy access to faster and more reliable speeds, especially at the busiest times of the day, which we know is important to them.  

We are on a mission to deliver even better broadband right across regional Australia, to support the ever-increasing data needs and enable people to do the online activities and services that are most important to them.  

These local upgrades are a part of our broader Fixed Wireless upgrade program, which should see around a million premises benefit by the end of next year."

For more information on the upgrades, please visit this link: Home | nbn (nbnco.com.au) and enter your address.

  

It’s a privilege to introduce Dr Julie Sladden who kindly joined my team last year to help me better understand the complexities of Covid.

A mandated GP, Julie refused the jab in 2021 and instead, turned her expertise to raise public awareness about the dangers of the Covid injections, and so much more.

It was a great honour to speak with Ed Dowd today.

It seems to me that if our nation’s response to Covid was a test, we’ve failed catastrophically. Long lockdowns failed. Mask mandates failed. The untested novel vaccines failed and the firing of unvaxxed workers failed.

These actions not only failed to stop infection and transmission but the vaccines have left a trail of destruction with unprecedented rates of excess deaths and vaccine injuries.

Russell Broadbent MP
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