Statements by Senators – Covid Vaccination, Wednesday February 28, 2024

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:26): This week is great week for common sense. Why is that? Because the Queensland Supreme Court has ruled that vaccine mandates imposed on police officers and health workers were, indeed, unlawful. The judge ruled that the Queensland police commissioner had not properly considered the human rights of employees before she made receiving the jab a condition of their ongoing employment. I, of course, celebrated the police commissioner’s decision to resign last week perhaps in anticipation of this landmark victory.

The Supreme Court is right, obviously. We all know that. How on earth did state premiers and chief health officers ever imagine that threatening and forcing people with the loss of livelihood if they did not submit to become the state’s pincushions to be injected with an experimental and untested concoction, of which the long-term effects are still not known, was not a breach of their basic human rights and was somehow okay? It was not okay. It was a violation of one of a liberal society’s most basic principles: bodily autonomy. Now that the Queensland Supreme Court has said as much, my hope is that the people who were adversely affected, whether through job loss or adverse reactions to the experimental mRNA injection, will get justice. An apology from the government would be a start, but compensation would be even better. The outrage is that this court ruling would not have happened if it were not for the UAP and our founder, Clive Palmer, who personally funded this court case. How can we claim to live in a free country when victims of government overreach have to fund their own search for justice?

As well as opening the floodgates for compensation to those affected, the Queensland Supreme Court decision proves once again, as if proof was even needed in the first place, that there must be a royal commission into Australia’s pandemic response. The Prime Minister’s weak and toothless and, frankly, pathetic COVID inquiry is a disgrace. It is an insult to the millions of Australians whose basic civil rights were trashed by governments across our land. People have died as a result of these draconian measures enforced by leaders during the pandemic. People have sustained lifelong injuries and lost their jobs, their marriages and relationships for good. Those in authority divided Australians and ignored human rights. The Prime Minister must give us our royal commission. State premiers and senior health officials need to explain on what basis they violated people’s human rights, and, depending on where the evidence leads, there should be and there must be prosecutions.

We will never forget what happened in our country during the pandemic, and those who imposed draconian, authoritarian, tyrannical measures on the community absolutely must be held to account. Those of us who stood up for our human rights were marginalised, abused and bullied. We were told that we were grandma killers, less than human and irresponsible. As long as the UAP has a presence in this place, we will never give up on justice for Australians who were emotionally bullied, financially crippled and physically harmed by the outrageous and, frankly, draconian pandemic response, which was not based on any science whatsoever. When justice is done it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.