Australian companies are pressuring the government to mandate Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations. Their lobbying has become so strong that experts have warned people that refusing to get vaccinated will likely mean getting banned from most workplaces and public venues.
Australia has maintained a very low vaccination rate since the COVID-19 vaccines became available to the country. But its vaccination rate is slowly rising, with around 15 percent of the population already fully vaccinated, and another 18 percent waiting to get a second dose of the vaccine.
The country has kept itself unvaccinated for so long because no broad vaccine mandates exist yet, except for some industries with workers the government has classified as “high risk.” These include nursing home and long-term care home workers and employees of “quarantine hotels.” (Related: Australian man escapes forced quarantine in hotel using rope made from bedsheets.)
Unfortunately, the federal government of Australia is relentlessly being pressured by private companies to make vaccines compulsory for workers.
One of the first companies to lobby the Australian government to mandate vaccines is Qantas, the country’s flag carrier and largest airline. Qantas has called on the federal government to mandate vaccines for all aviation staff. Company executives argued that this mandate is necessary to create “the safest environment possible for travelers and staff.”
“We believe COVID vaccination should be a requirement for all aviation workers,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
“It is being introduced bit by bit around the country,” he added. “We now have over 1,000 employees that are covered by the requirements in [New South Wales], the requirements in South Australia, New Zealand.”
The states of New South Wales and South Australia have made it mandatory for aviation workers who take part in international flights to get the COVID-19 vaccines. The country’s four other states and two territories have yet to follow suit. Qantas is the first large corporation in Australia to push for a vaccine mandate. Dozens of other companies have rolled out programs to bribe employees into getting COVID-19 vaccines, all of which have stopped just short of mandating the vaccines.
Fortunately for Australians, several high-profile unions have placed themselves in opposition to any possible federal vaccine mandate. One of the unions most vocal in opposing mandates is the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. Its president, Larry Cosme, said that he believes a vaccine mandate is a violation of civil rights. Cosme said that any attempt to implement a vaccine mandate in Australia will be met with “a lot of pushback.”
“It’s going to be an avalanche,” he warned.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out a federal vaccine mandate.
“I think it is the wrong decision for Australia. It’s not how we do things,” he said. “I’m responsible for the decisions that we make, and the decisions that we make is that it’s not mandatory.”
“There was only one area where that has been recommended and that is for aged care workers,” he added.
Morrison said he knows companies like Qantas will be intensely scrutinizing Australian employment laws to figure out if they can implement vaccine mandates. He warned that any decisions they make regarding the vaccination of their employees “have to be consistent with our laws.”
Unfortunately, Morrison’s opposition to vaccine mandates does not translate to opposition to the experimental and side effect-riddled COVID-19 vaccines.
“I believe we will actually achieve the vaccination rates that are essential [without mandates],” he said.
Dr. Jane Williams, a health ethicist for the University of Sydney, warned that mandates can still be implemented even without a proper federal policy enforcing vaccinations. She said that such a vaccination policy will still give people the choice to not be vaccinated. “Your bodily autonomy is still okay,” she said. “No one is going to hold you down and vaccinate you.”
But she added that what Morrison’s government might do is make the choice to remain unvaccinated “become less appealing over time.”
This can be done by making certain public locations and workplaces only accessible to people who are vaccinated or who agree to abide by oppressively burdensome social distancing regulations. Such a situation is more likely even with Morrison’s opposition to vaccine mandates. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce recently argued that businesses should have the right to reject unvaccinated customers.
“People in private enterprise are going to say, ‘Look I’ve got rights here too,'” he said during an interview. “If you want to come into my barbershop or my childcare facility … then I have a right to say, maybe, ‘Have you been inoculated?'”
“And if you say you haven’t, I have got a right as the owner of the shop to say, ‘I can’t have you sitting in a seat next to someone who has.'”
Learn more about the debates within governments around the world on whether or not to mandate COVID-19 vaccines at Vaccines.news.