Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, this week has released a petition calling for the reversal of the vaccine mandate. “Mr Andrews has crossed an important line. Where the Victorian government should be encouraging vaccinations, he has begun coercing the public with an economic exclusion notice.
“The premier needs to explain how this mandate is proportionate to the risk of COVID-19, especially given the pace of the voluntary roll-out in Victoria. One of the founding principles of our democracy is the freedom to choose. Although, some laws limit our right to choose, this is done based on risk, necessity and proportionality.
“The roll-out of the vaccine is progressing strongly on a voluntary basis. First dose vaccinations have now exceeded 80% of the population. Unfortunately, this mandate could push more people away from vaccination and fuel scepticism,” Dr Webster said.
“My office has been inundated with phone calls and emails of desperate people who are shocked, panicked and in despair about the premier’s unnecessary mandate. It’s evident already that this announcement will do little to tangibly fight the pandemic, but a lot to cause unrest amongst the Victorian community.
“Hundreds, if not thousands of people may vacate their jobs in protest, or because they have not chosen to be vaccinated. This number will include people in the critically important industries of healthcare and education. This risks depleting our already stretched workforce in regional Victoria,” Dr Webster said.
“In response to this disproportionate mandate, I have issued a petition to call out Mr Andrews’ heavy handedness. Victorians need to have their liberties protected. I am confident that we will receive a large number of signatories that oppose this PHO.”
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 7 October 2021.