House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Private Members' Business

Freedom of Speech

5:38 pm

Photo of Russell BroadbentRussell Broadbent (Monash, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you for the opportunity to continue my opposition to this crazy bill that's going to be put before the parliament eventually. For 45 years Professor Ian Brighthope has practised medicine, especially in the area of chest complaints and viral infections. I am making the point because what will happen with this legislation only reinforces what is already happening—discrimination against people making remarks that are not suitable to the general public, not suitable to the government of the day, not suitable to the bureaucrats of the day. It says here:

Your account was restricted due to multiple violations of LinkedIn's User Agreement and Professional Community Policies against sharing content that contains misleading or inaccurate information.

What he did, his one crime, was share a post from Professor Catherine Bennett:

We only needed one lockdown, one test and one treatment for all.

Vitamin D test, Vitamin D treatment.

Did not appear in any of the modelling.

Australia failed as did the WHO and all its agencies.

Remind me again why we keep locking up the entire Australian population in the fight against Covid-19. A grand total of 21 people under 60 died with or of Covid in 2020.

Now she has no right to proffer an opinion across social media? I can go on and see what she said in the rest of the post, but it doesn't make any difference. The point here is: this misinformation and disinformation bill will only be a vehicle for those people who want to close down debate, and we've seen enough of closing down debate in this nation. What we need is conversation where it's free for all to discuss their opinions.

I put to someone today, 'The Australian people are not stupid with regard to finances, with regard to advice they're given by anybody.' They are not. My mentor at school, in commercial practice, was Jack Kroger, who was Michael Kroger's father, who's a Liberal Party stalwart. He said to me, 'Russell, caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.' I say let the people of Australia decide on what is misinformation and what is disinformation. Give them the authority to make up their own mind. With that, Deputy Speaker Sharkie, I thank you for the opportunity. I think there's another 40 minutes in me on this subject!


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