Drop the Mandates Now!

4 March, 2024

Russell Broadbent here, your Independent Member for Monash.

I’ve been calling on state governments to drop all remaining covid mandates and allow unvaccinated frontline staff to return to work. In fact, I took a stand against mandates before they were imposed on us.

Covid mandates are crippling our healthcare system – keeping highly trained health professionals sidelined while ambulances are overwhelmed and hospitals crumble.  This is putting the health and safety of those needing care at enormous risk.

Mandates are also crippling our firefighting, police, and other frontline safety services. 

Australia has always been a country that values freedom. But during the pandemic we saw unprecedented violations on those freedoms, including mandates. We were told it was ‘to keep people safe.’  But was it?

Would it surprise you to know that early in June 2021 a panel of health experts, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, advised against making the coronavirus vaccine compulsory.

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee said – and I quote - ‘AHPPC does not recommend compulsory Covid-19 vaccines (for aged care workers)’.

The State secretary for the Health Workers Union in Victoria, said that while they ‘strongly encouraged workers to get the jab they did not believe it should be compulsory’. And they also said that ‘we live in a free country and not Communist China!’.

But by the end of June 2021, the first of the mandates were announced, for aged care workers.

This decision shocked many people, including myself, as it was well known we were in the ‘largest global vaccination trial ever’ to quote the former Health Minister.

At the time, the South Australian branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said they were concerned that mandating vaccinations for the aged care workforce could be a ‘political decision, not a health decision’.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Here we are almost three years down the track - and it’s well known that the vaccine does not stop infection or transmission – yet we still have workers sidelined due to mandates.

I will not rest until all Covid-19 vaccine mandates have been lifted, and these Australians have been allowed to return to their professions.

And that’s justice as I see it.

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