Australia slammed shut its international border in March 2020. Since that time, Australia has had one of the strictest border measures in the world. Residents have been banned from leaving the country, and international arrivals have been capped for the majority of this time. There are over 36,000 Australian citizens still currently stranded overseas.
A number of health officers and politicians have stated recently that we have to abandon our “fortress” approach and look at reopening our borders. However, it comes with a catch. We must all be vaccinated.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton recently stated that “we all need to step up to get vaccinated in order to open up Australia to world travel and arrivals so that our education sector, tourism sector and all of the other kinds of compassionate reasons for us to see family and friends overseas can come to the fore.”
Professor Sutton said that we are at a “critical juncture where we need to make a call on letting it (the virus) run”, rather than trying to eliminate it completely. As we have seen around the world, elimination is not achievable.
Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth addressed the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ during their annual scientific meeting, where he had this to say: “We once again have a responsibility as a profession to calmly reassure the community that vaccines must be taken up when they are offered, that waiting is not a valid option either individually or for the public health, and that ultimately when we allow COVID-19 back on our shores and it circulates in our community, that we are prepared and comfortable for that to happen.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian claimed that NSW “need to do around 10 million jabs to get the majority of our population vaccinated” in order to reopen borders.
Victorian MP Tim Wilson said that the country risked becoming a “hermit outpost” with the ongoing border closures, whilst New South Wales MP David Sharma stated that there were “real and significant costs, economic and personal, to keeping borders closed”. Even the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg acknowledged that “you can’t eliminate the virus”, yet the government has forecast international borders to reopen during the middle of 2022. Well, at this stage.
Dr Coastworth stated that “the (medical) profession can help the community have a stronger, higher appetite for risk by reassuring them of the effectiveness of the vaccine, the importance of getting vaccinated and the (benefits) of having a vaccinated immune population”.
Physicians for Informed Consent have produced a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine risk statement. One of the questions asked is whether the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and safer than COVID-19. Here is the answer.
“The extent to which the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is effective and safer than COVID-19 is not known. The clinical trial indicates that in subjects 65 to 74 years old, the vaccine may be only 53% effective, and in subjects 75 years or older, the age group that comprises about 60% of all COVID-19 deaths, the vaccine may be 0% effective; also, in children age 16 to 17 the vaccine may not be effective. The clinical trial did not have enough statistical power to measure the vaccine’s ability to prevent hospitalisations and deaths, and the trial did not assess if the vaccine prevents asymptomatic infection or spread (transmission) of the virus.”
“Severe adverse events in the vaccine group occurred in 1 in 91 subjects in the Pfizer clinical trial. The CDC has recorded that 1 in 43 vaccinated subjects was unable to perform normal daily activities and required medical attention. Furthermore, for people 15 to 34 years of age, the clinical trial did not include enough subjects to be able to show that the vaccine is safer than the disease, and because the clinical trial observation period lasted only two months, the incidence of long-term side effects from the vaccine for any age group is not known.”
At the time of writing, the chance of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 is 0.11%, whilst the chance of dying from COVID-19 is 0.0035% in Australia. For those under the age of 70, the survival rate is 99.8%.
However, the chance of having an adverse event from the vaccine is 0.67%. That is six times higher than even testing positive to the virus, let alone dying from COVID-19.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the US quite clearly shows that that the vaccine is not safe. Over 4,000 deaths have been reported following the COVID-19 vaccine, and that’s only in the last six months. Nearly 200,000 adverse events have been reported, and typically only 1-10% of adverse events are actually reported on VAERS.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook states that for consent to be legally valid, “it must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation”. Allowing people to travel only if they have been vaccinated is not acting in accordance with the criteria for valid consent.
From the moment the borders snapped shut and there was talk of a vaccine, it was clear that the federal and state governments would use travel as a way to coerce people into receiving the experimental injection.
Does this mean that people who choose not to take the vaccine simply won’t be allowed to travel? Isn’t this coercion and manipulation?
Travel must not be used as a lure for people to take the vaccine. They must be provided with all of the information, and allowed to make an informed decision.
Continue to ask questions. Continue to seek more information. And continue to share this information with others. Where there is risk, there must be choice. Always.
“In a democratic society, all of this will be your own decision. No vaccination, choosing not to be part of the community herd – your choice. But be aware you are also choosing to limit opportunities and lifestyle for yourself and your children.”
Jen Townsend wrote a recent article in the [newspaper], describing how “anti-vaxers” use scare tactics to convey their point of view. In the article, Ms Townsend explained how a “spruiker for the anti-vax party” approached her, telling her that the “Government was passing a law that would allow officials to enter the property of anti-vaxers, hold them down and forcibly vaccinate them against their will”.
The Morrison government has repeatedly stated that the COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary, so these statements sound rather hysterical to say the least.
The law that the “spruiker” was referring to is the Western Australia Public Health Act 2016. Section 158 of the Public Health Act states the following:
158. Enforcement of requirement to undergo medical observation, medical examination
Perhaps the “spruiker” wasn’t being so hysterical after all. Why, when all vaccination in Australia is currently voluntary, would an individual need to be apprehended or detained to be vaccinated? It is frightening to even consider that this could be law in one of the states in a democratic country such as Australia.
Ms Townsend continues by explaining that “if you do not want to be part of the community gaining herd immunity against COVID, or measles or whooping cough, there are many ways to release you from your obligation to the herd”.
“Your children will not be allowed to attend school, you will be able to fly out of the country but not return unless vaccinated, your workplace, especially those with open-plan offices will give preference to applicants that have been vaccinated. There will be some jobs, such as teaching, nursing, paramedic, police, fire-fighter, you may never be allowed to do.”
At the time of writing, 4,029 children from 0-19 years of age have been diagnosed with COVID-19. That is out of a total of 29,211 cases, which represents 13.8% of diagnosed cases. Out of the 4,029 children diagnosed, ZERO have died from COVID-19. Not a single school-aged child has died from COVID-19 in over 12 months.
Why should children be vaccinated against COVID-19 when the disease is clearly not fatal is this demographic?
Safe Work Australia released a statement recently regarding vaccination requirements in the workplace. In the statement, they explicitly stated that “it is unlikely that a requirement to be vaccinated will be reasonably practicable”. One of the reasons for this, according to the statement, is that “at present, public health experts, such as the Australia Health Protection Principal Committee has not recommended a vaccine be made mandatory in any industry”.
There are many reasons why people cannot, or choose not to, take the vaccine. Some people have a medical contraindication that prevents them from receiving the vaccine. They may have a history of reactions to vaccines, or they may suffer from allergies and have been advised to avoid the vaccine. What about those who are pregnant or lactating? Should all of these people, including children, be banned from entering the country of their citizenship? Should people have their basic fundamental human rights removed simply for making a decision not to inject toxins into their own body?
As Ms Townsend explained, we do live in a democratic society. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a democracy is a “government by the people (especially rule of the majority), (and) a government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections”.
The government doesn’t get to decide whether we take the vaccine, we do.
The government doesn’t get to choose where we work, if we can travel, or if our children can go to school, we do.
According to the TGA’s Australian Public Assessment Report, the long-term safety and the duration of protection is unknown. Vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic infection and viral transmission has not yet been addressed. A correlate of protection has yet to be established. The use of the vaccine with other vaccines, the use of the vaccine in pregnant women and lactating mothers, and vaccine efficacy and safety in immunocompromised individuals is also yet to be addressed.
According to the Australian Product Information, there is no data on the use of the vaccine in frail patients with co-morbidities (for example, COPD, diabetes, chronic neurological disease, cardiovascular disease) or use of the vaccine in patients with autoimmune or inflammatory disorders.
Why would someone choose to take a new, experimental, rush-to-market vaccine with no long-term safety data that doesn’t provide protection nor prevent transmission for a virus with a 99.8% survival rate (for those under 70)?
Perhaps when Ms Townsend was asking “why would anyone else choose differently?”, she was actually asking why would anyone choose to receive the vaccine in the first place?
Where there is risk, there must be choice. Always.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently stated that “international borders will only open when it is safe to do so”, and that we “still have a long way to go, and there are still many uncertainties ahead”. Mr Morrison also claimed that he “doesn’t see an appetite” for Australia opening its borders, and that he intends to be “cautious” with the vaccine rollout.
“All I know is once you let (COVID-19) back in again, you cannot get it out. You’ve crossed that threshold. We continue to roll out the vaccination program, over the course of this year, and in the meantime, I intend to be cautious, it’s in my nature.”
It may be in Mr Morrison’s nature to be cautious, but how does this help the 36,000 Australians stranded overseas? Nearly 5,000 of these people are considered vulnerable. And this doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of Australians currently living abroad as expats who are unable to return home to see their family and friends.
The United Nations human rights committee requested that Australia promptly allow two Australian citizens to return home from the US last month. More recently, an Australian citizen stranded in India launched a lawsuit against Health Minister Greg Hunt following the travel ban on flights from India, and the threat of fines of up to $66,600, or five years imprisonment, or both.
However, here is the most important thing. The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, stated that there was not “considerable clinical evidence that tells us transmission is preventable”. There it is. Our own Prime Minister finally acknowledging that the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission.
If the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission, why are we being told repeatedly that we need to take it to protect our loved ones, those who are more vulnerable, and the community in general?
If the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission, why do we need a vaccine passport?
A vaccine by definition provides immunity and prevents transmission. If the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission, why is it being labelled as a vaccine to begin with?
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham echoed Mr Morrison’s comments by saying that there are “uncertainties around aspects of the vaccine rollout including the duration of effectiveness of vaccines, what it means in relation to other variants of COVID”.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Australian Public Assessment Report for the Pfizer vaccine states that the “duration of protection is not yet known”. It also says that “vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic infection and viral transmission” has not yet been addressed, and that “a correlate of protection has yet to be established”.
This report was published in January 2021, and it clearly states that the vaccine does not prevent transmission. The clinical trials were not designed to detect transmission prevention. The government has known this information all along, so why wasn’t it made public? Is it possible that even less people would choose to take the vaccine if they knew that it didn’t prevent transmission?
Health Minister Greg Hunt recently weighed into the discussion on reopening the international borders. In a press conference, Mr Hunt said, “Is travel an incentive for people to be vaccinated? Absolutely.” He also stated that people who have been vaccinated will have an “easier passage out and easier passage in” with regards to travelling in and out of the country.
Why does the government need to incentivise the vaccine? If the pandemic was as bad as they make it out to be, and the vaccine was safe and effective, why are people not lining up to take it? Why does the government need to convince people of its benefits? Wouldn’t people naturally take it to protect their health and the health of those around them?
In NSW, six travellers who returned from overseas, all of whom were fully vaccinated, tested positive for the virus. The vaccine does not provide immunity. The Australian Public Assessment Report and the data from the clinical trials confirms this. In fact, the data from the clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine showed no statistical significance in preventing COVID-19 seven days after the second dose.
MP’s Craig Kelly and George Christensen have already signalled that they will oppose the introduction of a vaccine passport. There are currently 17 states in the US who have either signed executive orders, or who are in the process of signing executive orders, to ban vaccine passports.
Mr Christensen stated that vaccine passports would “segregate Australians into haves and have nots”, labelling them as “discriminatory”. He has asked his followers on social media to “push back for the sake of freedom”. We should all support Mr Kelly and Mr Christensen in their fight to ban vaccine passports.
One of our basic human rights is the right to travel, and those who choose not to take the vaccine should not be punished for doing so. Vaccine passports would remove this basic human right.
It is time to stand up and take back our freedoms. Our government have been elected to serve us, not the other way around.
Many of our freedoms have already been stolen from us. Will our right to travel overseas to see loved ones, to work, or to experience the world be next?
Join us on our Stand Up Australia tour. Visit www.standupnowaustralia.com.au for more information.
For the first time in our proud history, it is a criminal offence to enter the country from overseas, even if you are an Australian citizen. The Morrison government has temporarily banned all flights from India, effectively stopping stranded Australians from returning home.
The federal government have enacted the Australian Biosecurity Act 2015. People who have been in India in the previous 14 days face a fine of up to $66,600 or five years in prison, or both, for returning to Australia.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated that positive cases who arrive from India are “placing a very, very significant burden on health and medical services in state and territories”. Out of those positive cases, how many have been hospitalised, entered ICU or died? A positive case in hotel quarantine isn’t burdening the health care system.
Education Minister Alan Tudge claimed that the Howard Springs facility in the Northern Territory has an “infection rate of 15 per cent, well above the goal of 2 per cent”. Isn’t the purpose of hotel quarantine to protect the community by quarantining those who have the virus? Why does the government have a goal to quarantine 98% of people who are not positive?
Inside your Australian passport, it states that the Commonwealth of Australia “requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer, an Australian citizen, to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him or her every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need”.
This travel ban certainly doesn’t allow citizens to “pass freely without let or hindrance”, nor does it “afford him or her every assistance and protection”. Thankfully, and rightfully, experts are questioning the lawfulness of such drastic measures.
Professor Kim Rubenstein from the University of Canberra claimed that “individuals who are stranded might seek to get legal representation to challenge it as unlawful. They would be wise to be speaking to their representatives in Parliament to ask the Senate committee, to, as a matter of emergency, review this measure as appropriate. I think there are serious legal questions the Parliament should be interrogating.”
Lawyer Michael Bradley stated that the law requires Health Minster Greg Hunt to consider the least intrusive way of ensuring the quarantine system is not overwhelmed and that “it’s very difficult to say that (Greg Hunt’s) appropriately applied that discretion”. Mr Bradley continued by saying that “there are real question marks about the constitutional validity of this exercise of power”.
Liberty Victoria’s president Julia Kretzenbacher says that “we have hotel quarantine to deal with the risk, so in Liberty Victoria’s view the actions taken are not the least restrictive or intrusive way of protecting Australians”.
The Australian Human Rights Commission said in a statement that these restrictions on Australian citizens returning from India “raises serious human rights concerns”.
“The need for such restrictions must be publicly justified. The Government must show that these measures are not discriminatory and the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health. The Commission urges Parliament’s Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to review these new restrictions immediately. The Commission is approaching the Australian Government directly with its concerns.”
The United Nations recently requested that Australia promptly allow two Australian citizens to return from the United States. According to Amnesty International, “Australians have been and are continuing to be harmed, by the government’s slow and bungled approach to getting them home amid the global pandemic crisis. People have been left homeless, unemployed, absolutely penniless, and stressed and anxious.”
More than 36,000 Australians are currently stranded overseas, with approximately 9,000 of those in India. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has catastrophically failed in his promise to get all stranded Australians home by Christmas.
Human Rights Watch director Elaine Pearson said that Australians have a “right to return to their own country”.
“Any such limitations on that right due to public health grounds should be necessary and proportionate. The government should be looking for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison sentences and harsh punishments for people who are facing desperate conditions and simply trying to return home. This is an outrageous response.”
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young tweeted that she is “horrified that the Morrison government thinks this is an acceptable response to the humanitarian crisis in India”.
If other countries around the world, with low cases numbers such as Australia, can manage hotel quarantine, whilst still allowing their citizens to return home, why can’t we?
We warned about the government’s ability to enact the Biosecurity Act in November 2020. At the time, many people, including members of parliament, either didn’t realise that the Act existed, or they didn’t believe that it would ever be enforced. Here we are six months later and the government have made it illegal for Australian citizens in India to enter the country.
What other draconian measures will the government enforce? What precedent does this set? What does this mean for the rest of those Australians stranded overseas?
These measures are a violation of our basic human rights. We must not consent to such measures, and must hold our politicians accountable for their actions.
Write to your members of parliament to tell them that you do not support such measures. It takes less than 5 minutes to do through our website.
Let’s pray for those stranded overseas, especially in India. They are Australian citizens like you and me. We must continue to fight for them, so that they can safely return to the country that they call home.
Our articles and rebuttal pieces are written by our writers on our volunteer team