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December 2, 2021

Govt polarises community over mandatory vax

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A local teacher, who cannot be named owing to onerous laws that prevent NSW government workers from speaking publicly, has raised their concerns over the looming November 8 deadline by the NSW government requiring all education and care workers to be vaccinated.

They say the issue has forced them to no longer ‘sit on the fence’ around the issue but to pick a side.

‘That’s what just happened to construction workers, health workers, police etc’, they told The Echo.

‘If you don’t vax by the date they have set, you are forced onto the antivax side, and no longer able to take your time deciding if it’s right for you or not’.

They said vaccine passports, which are operating in many European countries, will exacerbate the polarisation within the community.

‘Many on both sides would rather fence sit and wait until they feel they could make a more informed consent about what is right for them’.

‘And science is not our God. It isn’t always correct, or without bias, and it is such a shitty argument to make people subscribe to when, by nature, [the pandemic] is relative and evolving.

‘Lots of products on the market that were said to be safe by science have been found [to be] not good for us in the long term. A lot of people know about their own body, and what is right for it, and don’t appreciate having their basic freedoms and rights such as being able to earn a living, or access certain facilities (if the passport comes in), intertwined with their choice. This is not consent, is it?

‘The whole Australian school curriculum is going to need rewriting if we continue the way we are as a society, and guess what – there won’t be enough teachers to teach it. There wasn’t before COVID-19, owing to casualisation of the sector’. Link

‘It hasn’t been thought through properly, and our children will suffer deeply for it. It is not as simple as just getting vaxed so we can all get on with our lives.

‘The proposed vaccine passport will create negative changes that will affect generations to come.’

‘Fingers crossed I can work out a different way to earn a living. Some of us have to stand up.

‘We are being forced to. I do not want the current government’s overreach of power to become normalised,’ they said.

A Public Health Order has been legislated by the NSW government, requiring all education and care workers (child day care etc) to be vaccinated by November 8.

It came into force on September 23, ‘and is in force’, according to NSW legislation.

Its full title is Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2021 and is made under the Public Health Act 2010, section 7 (NSW).

Justifications for the order include that, ‘COVID-19 is a potentially fatal condition and is highly contagious’ and that, ‘the risk of transmission… will remain significant and ongoing unless more COVID-19 vaccines are administered’.

The only provision for being exempt from the order is a medical contraindication certificate.

To qualify for a medical contraindication certificate, a registered medical practitioner is required to fill out the relevant form.

It outlines reasons for exemption, being anaphylaxis, a ‘Serious adverse event’, and ‘Other specified medical contraindication’ related to COVID-19 vaccines.

There is no provision for conscientious objectors.

Test cases

It follows a similar recent Health Order requiring mandatory vaccines for NSW health workers. 

Retired local magistrate David Heilpern told The Echo, ‘The only thing standing in the way of this are the test cases before the Supreme Court on September 30 [Al-Munir KASSAM v Bradley Ronald Hazzard], set down for a three-day hearing’.

‘The police officer who was challenging her vaccination order had her case dismissed by the Supreme Court a few days ago’ [Belinda Kay HOCROFT v Bradley Ronald Hazzard, Minister for Health and Medical Research]. 

And the Fair Work Commission has made a judgment on Jennifer Kimber v Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Ltd.

An unfair dismissal claim by Ms Kimber was rejected by the Commission. She refused to be vaccinated. The judgement is available at here.


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46 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed the entire system has fallen, fascist and authoritarian and there’s not going to be any rescue, it is down to individual action. Resist or collaborate.
    A hard choice for those with mortgages.
    Of those who collaborate let there be sympathy for the younger and contempt for the wealthy.

    • Facist? Authoritarian? All you have to do is get a needle. How hard is that?You are just selfish and obviously dont care how your decisions affect everyone else around you.

    • Yes, comply with the experiment (the jabs have no long term data and will remain in trial phase until Jan 2023 Pfizer) or be cast out.

      What a Government, leading the charge to divide the people.

      If the C19 death rate was comparable to Ebola, then maybe, just maybe could they justify their behaviour.

      But with the risk so very low for the vast majority, it’s an attack on everybody’s freedoms under the guise of “health” but many can’t see it.

      When you watch the news and listen to the updates, it’s difficult for many to comprehend that over 99% will survive Covid without the jab.

      Recent survey had most people believe the risk is a clear and present danger to them when the numbers clearly show otherwise…the scaremongering will do that.

      See the fear in comments here.

      Peace and love to you all, we are going to need it.

      • “ the jabs have no long term data and will remain in trial phase until Jan 2023 Pfizer)

        So who’s going to provide you with the long-term data, Steve? And are you prepared to stay away from the vast majority of us (approaching 90% in NSW) who will provide it.? Or wear a mask because no vaccination is 100% effective.

        Where do get reliable data on survival rates (case to death ratios) “without the jab” when western countries have high vaccination rates . Do you have a reliable source that has collected data on just the unvaccinated deaths?

        We are told that very few of the unvaccinated young children who will be sent back to school Petrie dishes require hospitalisation from infection. But guess what, there is no long term data about the effects of infection on the developing organs of infected children either. I couldn’t support any government that would not do whatever possible to protect them.

    • Really Rudra, again arguing me, me etc. what the hell are you trying to make a point on. Do you wear a seatbelt, drive within speed limits? It is for the common good not some dictatorial craziness. Enough, just don’t write crap.

  2. With teachers like this it’s no wonder that children are barely literate let alone numerate.
    Might be bad ‘long term”.?
    Covid is deadly short term to the non vaccinated. Anyone who recovers can look forward to respiratory and cognitive problems long term. A certainty.

    • Hopefully you’re not actually serious Jack? Because that’s an incorrect statement for sure!
      “Covid is deadly short term to the unvaccinated. Anyone who recovers can look forward to respiratory and cognitive problems long term. A certainty.”
      🤣 Wtf? It’s not a certainty at all, not everyone who’s had the virus has long term issues of any kind, that’s total fear mongering and you need to turn off mainstream media dude! Many people have had it and recovered fine with lots of natural immunity left afterwards and don’t forget not everyone gets severe covid, very few in Australia actually have severe covid at the moment.

  3. Why run this when the overwhelming majority of teachers support vaccination?
    Children can’t be vaccinated, they’ll catch it and take it home. Why is that not mentioned?
    It’s worth discussing mandatory vaccination, but there’s no balance in this article at all, it’s entirely anti-vax.

  4. So this teacher is risking their health and their students health over what? Why are we pandering to a minority when most have done the right thing? So much for duty of care. Just stop being precious and get the jab. You are not standing up, just thinking about your own self importance.

  5. I don’t blame the Echo for taking advertising revenue where it can, but I do question the motivation of the organisers of the Coolangatta Reclaim The Line rally, advertising in a newspaper with a predominantly northern NSW readership when – for sound health reasons – the border with Queensland is closed and the bubble is for essential reasons only.

    I can certainly understand the reservations about mandatory vaccination. What I can’t countenance is how anyone, at this point in our national struggle with the pandemic, can think it’s a good idea to create potential super spreading events and encourage mixing across the border.

    Victoria went today from under 1000 cases to just under 1,500. While many factors must be involved, including grand final gatherings, it is more than coincidental that it follows closely on the disgraceful and violent behaviour witnessed in their “freedom” rallies. SE Queensland is trying to squash a recent outbreak and we have surely seen in Victoria and NSW how quickly an area can go from a few cases to 1500.

    These increase aren’t just numbers announced at a presser: they mean death, lingering illness, ruined lives and businesses. I’ve proudly taken part in many protests but, regardless of the cause, public gatherings at these times are just not justifiable. There are other ways to protest – just look at the lead given by our climate activist youth.

    Some other questions. Is this a protest about mandatory vaccination or the border closure because participants could very feasibly have very different positions on these issues? Who is financing full page adds in NSW newspapers? “Follow the money” as we are often advised?

  6. Attention Teachers, Nurses,Police, Health care workers
    Need representation and practical advice?
    Red union which originated in Queensland has expanded its membership towards a national model
    The site has some straight forward advice which includes “DO NOT RESIGN – you have rights”
    note i am not affiliated, represent or have

    • Joseph you didn’t read the article, did you? Red Union sounds anything but a Union. Acknowledge the majority are doing the right thing not wasting time on these people.

      • Yes Rod – we are asked to believe that the Liberal and Nation parties have suddenly discovered their support for collective action for workers’ rights. Check out the Age/SMH Report:

        “Fake unions’: New associations ride jab mandate fears to get members”

    • I can’t think of a more intelligent and credible union figure than Sally McManus who is quoted in the SMH/Age: “These are fake unions run by LNP members and their associates set up to try and divide working people. This amounts to an LNP-sponsored anti-vaccination campaign which will directly and needlessly cause working people to contract a deadly virus.”

      The same Age/SMH describes them as having “ links to current and former Liberal and National party figures”.

      “None of the new associations challenging vaccination rates are registered as traditional trade unions, which means they lack the same powers to represent workers but they avoid strict oversight from industrial regulators.”

      Strange times indeed!

      I remember a breakaway teacher union in the 80s, VAT, that became affectionately known amongst my colleagues as the Victorian Association of Toadies,

    • More work following your red Union recommendation Joseph. An LNP hack front that is anything but a Union. Antivax, anti worker and against anything the Union movement stands for. I suggest don’t waste your money on this one. And get vaccinated and read widely not just Twitter etc.

  7. Good on you for being brave in the face of this wave of mass hysteria… I am suffering from a terminal illness and my treatment has already given me serious side effects, yet my oncologist is too scared to give me an exemption in case the Health Hazard, ie Govt Minister will punish his arse. This has gone too far and fear is being used to divide the community.

  8. As a teacher I would have expected you to be better informed and have a social conscience. However it takes all types! Vaccinations have been around for ages and have probably saved your life so far by eliminating a lot of viruses that would have otherwise killed you. The way they work is very different than injecting drugs into your body, they speed up the body’s own immune system. To get protection from Covid there are two ways, by vaccination and by catching it. The first will minimise your chance of severe illness and death, the other no so much!
    Why should the majority of people who have read and understood the vaccination regime have to stand by and let you infect them and then have to pay through taxes for your long visit to hospital, all along preventing someone who has taken precautions chances of getting a hospital bed.
    For every decision in life there are consequences, if you want to live in society and all the benefits it accrues then follow the rules adopted by that society. If that means you reject vaccination, so be it. However the consequences for you are leaving your job and possible death. Your choice and it is not your right to put other people in danger.

  9. ” … no longer able to take your time deciding if it’s right for you or not.”

    Just how much time does this whinger need, FFS?! Covid has been with us for nigh on two years; there’s been more than adequate time to research, observe, and decide. Methinks they just be doing their damnedest to avoid the vax while blaming “the system” for their inability to decide.

    They need to get real and get a grip before they get ill or, worse, make others ill.

  10. My God. I hope this person isn’t teach science😳. With all the information that’s been available for many months, how can anyone say “they haven’t yet decided if the vaccine is right for them.”

  11. This article is an uncharacteristic low for the Echo. It is a mouthpiece for one individual teacher, masquerading as journalism. The extensive quotes from this one teacher are platformed without any acknowledgement that this is a tiny minority view among teachers. Sure, everyone should have a right to express their opinion, but do it on Facebook. Published journalism should reflect the full picture, not a lone voice.

  12. Hey do all the people who are promoting to get vax Ed as a way back to normal know that the reason people in Byron and tweed were in lockdown last week is the spreader was double vaxed and didn’t have obvious symptoms. So why the medical apartheid and push to vax. if it’s only to reduce symptoms then Surely mature adults or even younger people should be able to make up their own minds. As Terence Mc Kenna famously said “our minds and our bodies should be a domain free from government control.

    People have had enough of the coercion and the lock downs that kill more than the CV Has in oz. The government has lost control of the situation having to use police bullying and brutality to back up their own lies and deceit so it can implement its draconian measures to take away our freedoms and livelihoods.Next election choose wisely and go for independents or a party that supports your rights to choose without coercion. We should be treating CV as a strong flu and treat the symptoms with approved and effective medication like many countries are now successfully doing and lifting all restrictions.

    People who were illegally arrested or fined for expressing their concerns should be encouraged to not pay any fine and fight for their innocence in court. What an absolute waist of police and Government resources to keep fighting cv and the people. All this for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate for most people and to encourage an experimental vax that has the potential to be more dangerous than the virus itself. And if the vaccine is supposed to work why would anyone be worried anyway.

    • They can make up their own minds, Dean, they just have to accept that there are consequences of most choices and that employers get to set the employment rules. Unless they contravene anti discrimination legislation which these requirements don’t as far as I can see. (And my job at one time was professional development and assisting schools with implementation of the Victorian Opportunity Act)

      Countries lifting restrictions are doing so because they have significant vaccination rates (not because of ivermectin) and no amount of repeated bs about what break through infection signifies etc makes it true. Yes fully vaccinated people can be infected. That’s why we’d prefer that those of you who are waiting for us to give you your long-term safety data would stay away from us or at least wear a mask!

      Look at the nearly 1500 new coronavirus cases reported in Victoria on Saturday. At a time when Victoria’s adult vaccination rate is around 50% double dosed, 97% of those new cases were NOT double vaccinated.

  13. The teachers who object to being vaccinated have a point but NSW government is in an invidious position on this. With delta being transmitted more easily to and by children, schools will be major sites of clusters as easing of restrictions occurs. A government proposing to send kids back to school has some real headaches re duty of care and OH&s to all involved.

    There seems to be a couple of alternatives here – apart from teachers being forced to get vaccinated – that could be in place until there is less threat to the community from this virus.

    1. School reopening could be delayed and online learning reinstated.
    2. Teachers objecting could be offered leave without pay.

  14. This article is extremely dangerous as its spells anti vax danger to society . I think the govt is actually being too slow in not only making vaccination mandatory for teachers medical personal ,construction workers; police, army airline workers etc from a Federal and state level but for our entire communities including children
    Public organizations and all businesses mining companies etc have a DUTY of care to their employees to keep them and their clients safe anti vax opinionated people only care about their themselves not for the safety of their families colleagues children patients clients friends etc This covid is not going away any time soon and potentially anticipated to go on for another 5 yrs maybe more if 80 to 90% of the world is not vaccinated Well if people choose not to be vaccinated and the govt doesnt make vaccination mandatory and people choose not to be vaccinated they can expect much harsher restrictions on their lives movements, entertainment travel and quality of life etc yes you will not have the freedom or life ( if you are not dead before ) that intelligent ,well informed neighbourly ,family orientated unselfish respectful ,caring considerate people for mankind will have

  15. Sorry, but we’ve had vaccinations for almost a year at this point. If by November you aren’t vaxxed, you weren’t “forced” to become an anti-vaxxer because you still want to wait and see, you ARE an anti-vaxxer. It’s just like an anti-vaxxer to blame everyone else for their decisions.

  16. This is also excellent news, important to hang onto “Yay! We have a winner!

    “Anestis Mantzouranis! For anyone following the Court proceedings against Hazzard, the Hocroft vs Hazzard case was settled out of court in favor of the Plaintiff (Hocroft)!
    Thank you Anestis Mantzouranis! This was the case of NSW Police officer Belinda Hocroft who was told that she needed at least the first shot by September 19th or she would be fired and not be able to return to her work. Belinda was represented by Charly Tannous of Sage Solicitors who argued that Belinda, a mother of four, was very concerned about the long term effects of the vaccine and felt it was a breach of her right to choose.
    This case now becomes a reference case for anyone else in the same position, and sets a precedent that proves that the Government claim of mandate is UNLAWFUL and INCORRECT!
    This should encourage everyone in the same position to hold on to your values, to fight back where you are being coerced and to know that you are on the right side of history!

    It sets a precedent for everywhere in Australia. If you know anyone who is having issues, and they engage lawyers, ask them to reference Hocroft vs Hazzard. 😊😊😊👍👍👍

  17. Science may not be ‘god’ – but real science (compared w opinions re science) is thoroughly tested and comes through with v high degree of certainty. But of course up here on the FNC it’s so cool to doubt & quibble because someone has spoken with authority. Have the anti-vaxers listened to the covid patients in hospital intensive care pleading for people to be vaccinated? And when an anti-vax person gets covid they’ll be looked after by responsible professionals who accept the science and apply the curative skills based on science.
    I’m not pretending to be a scientist, but I’m reliably informed that the full protective effects of the vaccination takes some weeks after the actual injection, which might explain why some people who’ve “had the jab” get covid; it’s be interesting if this factor were publicised.

  18. The fundamental problem for politicians, whose job it is to decide these things, is that they, more than anyone, have an interest in giving people time to make up their minds about this. Everyone would like to have the luxury of taking as much time as they need before deciding, and no-one likes being pressured into doing something. As with many things in life however, time is not on our side. The natural world doesn’t wait for us to make up our minds. The sun rises and sets regardless of whether we are ready for it. The world turns, oblivious to our hesitations. Reconciling these things is near impossible. Public health messages (which Australia does very well) help to shift people’s thinking faster, but ultimately the human brain is a complicated and fickle thing. All sorts of things are made mandatory when the best information available to decision makers at the time (which doesn’t mean it will never be altered) is overwhelming. This is simply a case where evidence is overwhelming and time is short. We simply haven’t had time to get used to it, but I suspect we will in the end.

  19. ~ ~ Read the Report ~ ~

    Fair Work Act 2009
    s.604 – Appeal of decisions

    Jennifer Kimber
    v
    Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care Ltd
    (C2021/2676)

    Decision 27 September 2021

    PART 2 –VACCINE REQUIREMENTS IN RELATION TO COVID
    [101]
    … … …
    [129] Freely given consent to any medical treatment, particularly in the context of a clinical trial, is not optional. Coercion is completely incompatible with consent, and denying a person the ability to work and participate in society if the person does not have a COVID vaccine will unquestionably breach this fundamental and internationally recognised human right.

    Can COVID vaccinations be mandated by employers on health and safety grounds?

    [130] The short answer to this question, in almost every case, is no.

    • The dissenting view of the minority, not the grounds on which her appeal was dismissed so therefore no legal precedent.
      That makes it almost as irrelevant as any anti-vaxxer view

      • Thank you and well proven. The dissenting views of professionals in science, medicine and now law are dismissed as irrelevant.
        Fascist times have many followers.

  20. Well over 90% teachers, health workers etc are happy to take the vax thus I agree with the mandate and regretfully we may loose some good employees. I am a former science teacher and have investigated the likes of anti vaxer like “Dr Mercola” but look at what the likes of these people were saying 10 years ago is very interesting.
    Finally like France non vaxed citizens should be banned from entering shopping centres in Australia. Maybe a concession for non vaxed could be allowed to only enter shopping centres after 4pm 4 days a week (M, W, F, & Sat) to as to protect the 90+% that will be fully vaxed soon.

  21. Final comments from the Fair Work Commission Kimber decision:

    [179] Research in the context of COVID-19 has shown that many who are ‘vaccine-hesitant’ are well educated, work in the health care industry and have questions about how effective the vaccines are in stopping transmission, whether they are safe to take during pregnancy, or if they affect fertility. A far safer and more democratic approach to addressing vaccine hesitancy, and therefore increasing voluntary vaccination uptake, lies in better education, addressing specific and often legitimate concerns that people may hold, and promoting genuine informed consent. It does not lie in censoring differing opinions or removing rights and civil liberties that are fundamental in a democratic nation. It certainly does not lie in the use of highly coercive, undemocratic and unethical mandates.

    [180] The statements by politicians that those who are not vaccinated are a threat to public health and should be “locked out of society” and denied the ability to work are not measures to protect public health. They are not about public health and not justified because they do not address the actual risk of COVID. These measures can only be about punishing those who choose not to be vaccinated. If the purpose of the PHOs is genuinely to reduce the spread of COVID, there is no basis for locking out people who do not have COVID, which is easily established by a rapid antigen test. Conversely, a vaccinated person who contracts COVID should be required to isolate until such time as they have recovered.

    [181] Blanket rules, such as mandating vaccinations for everyone across a whole profession or industry regardless of the actual risk, fail the tests of proportionality, necessity and reasonableness. It is more than the absolute minimum necessary to combat the crisis and cannot be justified on health grounds. It is a lazy and fundamentally flawed approach to risk management and should be soundly rejected by courts when challenged.

    [182] All Australians should vigorously oppose the introduction of a system of medical apartheid and segregation in Australia. It is an abhorrent concept and is morally and ethically wrong, and the anthesis of our democratic way of life and everything we value.

    [183] Australians should also vigorously oppose the ongoing censorship of any views that question the current policies regarding COVID. Science is no longer science if it a person is not allowed to question it.

    [184] Finally, all Australians, including those who hold or are suspected of holding “anti-vaccination sentiments”, are entitled to the protection of our laws, including the protections afforded by the Fair Work Act. In this regard, one can only hope that the Majority Decision is recognised as an anomaly and not followed by others.

    • This was the one dissenting commissioner, who, despite the case being about a flu vaccination refusal, included a discussion of the Covid 19 vaccine in dissenting comments.

      The majority of the Full Bench stuck to the case at hand and concluded that, in the circumstances, the vaccination direction was both lawful and reasonable, and the employee’s refusal to be vaccinated rendered her unable to perform the inherent requirement of the role. The decision at first instance that her dismissal was for a valid reason, and not otherwise harsh, was upheld on appeal.

      Vaccination for influenza has been a requirement for many years for staff in a range of contexts and we have not seen carnage in the streets. the majority decision concluded: “ … we consider that the public interest weighs entirely against the grant of permission to appeal. We do not intend, in the circumstances of the current pandemic, to give any encouragement to a spurious objection to a lawful workplace vaccination requirement”

  22. I actually don’t give a rat’s arse if people vax or not. The issue is forced medication made all the more pertinent by the fact that vaccines do not stop spread.
    You are not going to stop covid spreading, Australia – it is not going to happen.
    The sensible thing is to vax and or effectively care for the vulnerable and then give unbiased advice about both vaccines and the alternatives, the danger of obesity etc.
    It is what an increasing number of countries are doing.
    For most people it is no more than a shitty cold.
    I live in Europe, I know.
    And by the way, contrary to one of ter uninformed statements above, Europe does not have a vaccine passport . It has a Digital passport which shows a person has been either vaxed, has had covid, or has had a recent PCR test. It is only required for air travel, discos and large indoor concerts.

  23. Mac

    There is now data from around the globe that vaccines “stop the spread” – not to the point of elimination granted.
    Vaxing the vulnerable doesn’t show much understanding of the way a country’s vaccination program is designed to work. Google “herd immunity” to get a better picture. The increasing vulnerabilities come progressively with age – starting with 20+ I believe. The obesity rate alone is around 30%.

    No one is forcing anyone to get faxed but in light of the crisis in Australia, there are new conditions of entry, employment participation etc being introduced.

    A passport is a passport whether it’s a hard copy or on a smart device.

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