NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas, appeared before the Senate Committee on Education and Employment Legislation yesterday. The Bills being considered are sponsored by Senators Pauline Hanson and Matt Canavan. They suggest that States should not be able to restrict freedom of movement from State to State of any Australian citizen and they suggest that employers should not be able to ask an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
In our view, the Bills in question, unreasonably and disproportionately protect the unvaccinated at the expense of the rights of other members of the community. Based on the generally accepted medical science, the Bills are incompatible with human rights.
In our submission we argue that these Bills, in their current form, should be opposed. They do not achieve an adequate balance between the rights of unvaccinated people to live their lives without interference and the rights of businesses, workers and the broader community to protect themselves from the threat of COVID-19.
Section 351 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) in its current form adequately affords protection to unvaccinated people (when balancing the right to be unvaccinated against the rights of the broader community), making the proposed FW Amendment Bill redundant.
Pauline Hanson voted consistently in the Parliament against the federal government treating COVID-19 vaccination as a matter of urgency. Senator Hanson remains unvaccinated.
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