Vaccination is currently, and always had been our safest and best pathway out of lockdowns. COVID vaccines indeed are an effective defence against the most detrimental effects of coronavirus. They help to reduce community transmission. For these reasons and more, I myself have been vaccinated with both doses. I strongly encourage all members of the community to join me in arming yourself against the virus. Those who questions and concerns, please, speak with your GP who knows you and can give you personal advice.
There’s no doubt, that we are in times of great stress and uncertainty across our community. It is critical that in these moments however, that we have a deeply considered and long-term perspective.
On Friday last week, Premier Andrews announced a ‘no jab, no job’ policy across the board in Victoria for anyone who considered an ‘authorised worker’. This means that if you are unvaccinated by October 15, you will lose your right to have an earned income.
In Australia we have a deep value for freedom of choice and freedom of opinion that we have fought for and. These principles are the bedrock of our free society.
In a free and first world country, it would be right to expect proper autonomy over personal medical decisions, free of economic coercion. Sadly, this order from Andrews, should it be finalised on October 15 would change that.
A complex pandemic requires a nuanced approach. This blanket mandate fails to be the targeted, measured, and proportionate approach that Victoria needs right now. This week in Mallee, we have hit 88.3% first jab, and 56.7% second jab: fantastic and promising numbers. Concurrently this week, New South Wales has reached 70% first dose. This demonstrates to us that we can hit our vaccine targets on a voluntary basis.
It begs the question Mr Andrews, why the harsh rule when we are tracking so well? We should not think that this order merely has implications for the present only. It sets an alarming precedent for the future of what the government can command.