Australian health execs, politicians float travel bans, tax penalties for COVID vaccine refusers
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AUSTRALIA, August 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Australia’s second most senior medical officer has said that denying those who refuse a coronavirus vaccine the ability to go into restaurants, travel internationally, and catch public transport will be discussed by the government.
Speaking at a government press conference yesterday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Coatsworth confirmed that existing policies which require Australians to “meet immunization requirements” in order for families to qualify for particular tax benefits or assistance with child care fees are likely to be utilized to encourage people to take a coronavirus vaccine.
“I suspect the majority of Australians will get vaccinated and then there will be a strong public view that those who choose not to get vaccinated, need to, there needs to be some sort of incentive stick perhaps, through the current programs including No Jab No Pay, to make that happen,” Coatsworth said.
“Looking at specific things like not being able to go into restaurants, not being able to travel internationally, not being able to catch public transport, or more broadly, having what in the olden days would have been a yellow FIFA vaccination certificate, these are clearly policy decisions that need to, will be, discussed. But there's no current mechanism to enforce that sort of thing at the moment,” the medic continued.
Coatsworth was speaking following comments by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the previous 24 hours. Morrison first said that a coronavirus vaccine will be made “as mandatory as you can possibly make it” before quickly walking back the comments somewhat and saying that the vaccine “is not going to be compulsory” and that “we can’t hold someone down and make them take it.”
Following Coatsworth’s press conference, Australian health minister Greg Hunt also confirmed the likelihood of denying family tax benefits and child care assistance to those who do not take the coronavirus vaccine. Hunt also refused to rule out placing restrictions on individuals.
Speaking on television this morning, Hunt was asked whether the government would link taking the vaccine to welfare payments, school attendance, travel, and admittance to sporting events or restaurants.
“Our first goal is to encourage as many Australians as possible, and I’m confident that with a vaccine that can save lives and protect lives, that can give people hope, that can give people their freedoms back, all of the things that we value and have helped us as a nation, prosper as a community – I’m confident that a very, very large numbers of Australians will take it up,” the health minister replied. “But we reserve the right, subject to medical advice, to take steps that might assist.”
It is estimated that the threat to families of losing their tax benefits through the “no jab, no pay” policy, which Morrison helped to establish, led to an additional 174,000 Australian children being immunized between September 2018 and September 2019.
Professor: PM Morrison ‘takes a great deal of pleasure in imposing his authoritarian will upon the Australian people’
The Chief Health Officer for New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, has in the past 24 hours said that restricting access to certain places is a way that vaccines have been encouraged in the past in Australia.
“We sometimes take policies around preventing certain groups of people from entering facilities if they’re not vaccinated and they’re usually taken to protect the most vulnerable,” Chant said during a 2GB radio interview.
“So for instance we have policies around healthcare workers and the vaccines that they are required to have before they can work around very vulnerable people and similarly in aged care and other very vulnerable settings,” she continued.
Radio host Ben Fordham followed up Chant’s comments, saying: “that would be a way of lifting the vaccination rate though, wouldn’t it? If you said ‘Okay, if you don’t want to get the vaccine you’re not allowed to go to the pub, you’re not allowed to go into a restaurant.’”
Chant also confirmed that there are plans to administer the coronavirus vaccine to children.
“What about school children, will they need to have the vaccine?” Fordham asked.
“If we have a safe effective vaccine and we have sufficient volume we’d be looking at vaccinating everyone,” Chant replied.
Dr. Augusto Zimmermann, Professor of Law at Sheridan College in Perth, Western Australia, and Professor of Law (adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, has told his fellow Australians that “it’s time to resist the Morrison regime.”
Zimmerman argues that “no government in this country, or those acting on its behalf, is constitutionally authorised to make the Australian people take any medicament against their best will, or force children to be vaccinated in order to maintain benefit payments.”
Zimmerman questions why a vaccine which has “been rushed through trials” is being while “therapeutics such as hydroxychloroquine/zinc” have been effectively banned in the country for treating the coronavirus.
“This is a leader who takes a great deal of pleasure in imposing his authoritarian will upon the Australian people, and by all means if necessary,” Zimmerman writes.
“It is time for the Australian people to resist the Morrison government. It is time for them to tell their Prime Minister that enough is enough.”