Voices crying in the wilderness

9 February, 2023

Voices, voices crying in the wilderness. Who are these voices crying in the wilderness? Who are these voices that are not being heard, and who put them in the wilderness? Who placed them there? They are those that are vaccine injured or unvaccinated and unable to work. Tens of thousands of Australians across Australia have been damaged. Even members in this house have quietly said to me on the side how they've been damaged. I pray that they speak out.

It didn't escape me yesterday that it was the United Nations International Women's Day, which was celebrated by this parliament with a breakfast and an address by the Prime Minister. This unfolding health and social disaster is disproportionately affecting women, many of whom are not believed. They are told they're anxious and they're told that they are just being hysterical. Such a massive untruth for so many people I've spoken to. Why so many women? Because they're the ones who worked in the mandated workforce. Why so many young men? Young, fit, men, like Jacob, who I spoke to yesterday—disabled for the rest of his days is how it feels for him at the moment. Many of the women are self-employed, so no income means no compensation and no justice.

Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are people like Ben and Hayden in Perth. They're both tradies and semiprofessional sportsmen whose lives have been utterly ruined. Ben is about to lose his house because he can no longer afford to pay the mortgage. People are losing their jobs and homes; they're unemployed. That's now also including the carers of the injured. Jackie Stricker is reporting Lifeline calls are increasing through the roof, with people with no money and feeling sick.

My office have talked to unemployed firefighters who haven't worked for 17 months. Why? Because they are not vaccinated. They are stood down, but without pay. Our people have lost hope. They've lost control of their lives, and we put them out there. The National Cabinet made these decisions and we are responsible because we are their elected members. The buck stops with us. We put these voices into the wilderness and it's up to us to call them back.

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Russell Broadbent MP
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