In 2015, prior to the introduction of the Australian government’s ‘No Jab No Pay/Play’ social welfare legislation, a media student at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) decided to organise a public forum to discuss the public’s concerns about this policy. As a new parent she was concerned about the unbalanced information presented in the Australian media and she wanted to make a film of a balanced discussion to help inform people about the reasons for this policy. The UTS student wanted a balanced panel of academics and experts to answer the public’s questions. Approximately 45 government and public health officials were invited to attend this forum at an academic institution to discuss this new legislation but all of these experts declined to attend. The people invited are named in the video and listed below. If this policy is so important to community health, why are medical professionals, government representatives and public health authorities unable to discuss this policy with the community on whom the policy will be forced?
Here is the video of this event titled ‘Questions and Answers: No Jab No Pay/Play’ in which I discuss the concerns that many Australians have about this policy and the influence of lobby groups on the vaccination debate in Australia. In this video I have demonstrated that this Social Services policy does not provide evidence that this policy is for a legitimate public health purpose, that it is proportionate to the risk of infectious diseases in Australia or that it is supported by public health legislation.These are the only conditions under which government’s are permitted to limit human rights and the Australian government has not provided this evidence.
I have also described in the video how the precautionary principle that is used to protect human and environmental health in government policy, has been reversed to protect industry interests in government policy and not the health of the community. This new Social Services legislation has removed the individual’s right to conscientious objection to vaccination, that is, the personal, philosophical and religious right to refuse vaccines. This policy was implemented on 1 January 2016 and it means that children must be vaccinated with the full schedule of vaccines (7 by 2 months of age and 12 by 1 year of age) in order to receive government welfare benefits. There is no selective vaccination or choice to not vaccinate and this amounts to 24 doses of vaccine by 4 years of age.This policy extends the legislation up to 20 years of age and it removes the fundamental medical tenet of ‘informed consent without coercion’ for a medical intervention.
This policy has been implemented without any public debate of the limitations on human rights and the public ‘s voice has been removed from the debate in the media by simplistic labels such as ‘anti-vaxers’ and ‘conspiracy theories’. Here is the list of public health authorities who declined to attend this public forum to explain the need for this policy here is an article that explains why the Health Australia Party is needed in Australia:
Peter McIntyre, director NCIRS
Robert Booy, NCIRS
Sussan Ley, Federal Health Minister
Christian Porter, Federal Social Services Department
Jillian Skinner, NSW Minister of Health
Professor David Issacs, Pediatrics and Children’s Health, Children’s Hospital, WestMead
Associate Professor Julie Anne Leask, The University of Sydney, NCIRS
Public Health and Senior Research Fellow at NCIRS
Professor Mark Ferson, NSW Health South Eastern District
Professor Raina McIntyre, School of Public Health and Community Medicine UNSW
Representatives from the Federal Health Department
Representatives from the Australian Medical Association
Representatives from the NSW Health Department