Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023


Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2022; Second Reading

11:48 am

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2022 is purportedly about safety and health, but what it's truly about is control and enabling injection mandates, vaccine mandates. This sets up the power to be able to do so. I want to read a text message from the parent of a daughter who's been mandated out of work out right now: 'Here is the text I received from my daughter tonight, after a Zoom meeting with the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland on the findings of the Industrial Relations Commission in Queensland. She is gutted and feels she does not deserve further discrimination or punishment from Queensland Health. This government'—the Labor government in Queensland—'may pursue staff even after they resign, causing them untold mental, social and economic stress. It appears Queensland Health believe these staff numbers have not suffered enough due to them refusing to take an experimental gene therapy based injection and wish to punish them some more. This is vindictive in the extreme.'

Here is the text from her daughter: 'Hi, Mum, I'm going to aim for bed early. I'm emotionally very tired today, especially after the Zoom meeting today. It was a long meeting. They essentially said that if we didn't apply initially for a special exemption, in the first instance, medical or religious, then they have exhausted all options for the PSAs through the Industrial Relations Commission. We can continue to have them represent us if we wish, as they will likely be appealing the recent decision, but they also said it is now a good time to resign to prevent being terminated and having that appear on a person's record.

They also said Queensland Health can continue to pursue disciplinary action against me even after I've resigned. They recommend resigning in the next few days, before they start the termination process. I've sent all questions, after I've re-checked them, into the main information hub also of the union for a response. I tried to ask a few within the meeting but only got one answer and there were many questions coming in the meeting. There are many people affected. People are getting swamped. So I'm considering resigning by the end of the week if not tomorrow. I will hopefully have some more answers after they respond to the questions, especially around the degree of legal, financial or professional impact disciplinary processes we'll have if they go the whole hog on me. I'm tired—I'm tired of having it hang over my head, especially when I feel so undeserving of this treatment and I gave all that I had and more to health and my work.'

That's coming from a 20-year-old graduate nurse. That's disgraceful. Safety is the No. 1 priority of any person in any business, not just for moral reasons, which are at the top, but also for commercial reasons. Safety saves money and increases productivity and profits. That is still to be understood in many companies, sadly, around this country and amongst many union bosses. But safety is abused. It's exploited by some employers, it's exploited by some union bosses—calling strikes over safety issues when they can't get their way industrially—and now we see that this government is abusing it.

The TGA bill gives sweeping powers to the secretary of the federal health department. COVID was a trial of controls, and what this bill does is give further control to the secretary of the federal health department. What troubles me is what they are trying to do, which is to completely abolish the drug approval process and all of the safety testing that goes along with that. Now we want to coerce employers into vaccine mandates, with these controls, in this bill.

After decades of simulations and preparation, which included Ahpra being set up in 2008, we had control of the medical system in enabling vaccine mandates in this country. We have just survived the United Nations World Health Organization's attempt to have international health regulations. And that was defeated—because of a grassroots movement, which we were proudly part of, around the world. It wasn't just us but around the world. We're now looking down the barrel of the United Nations World Health Organization's pandemic treaty.

What you're doing with the TGA bill and with this bill is setting them up for foreign entities, like the UN World Health Organization, to come in here and take over. That's part of the eternal human battle of control versus freedom. Always, One Nation is on the side of freedom. So far we've seen the United Nations and World Economic Forum alliance on the side of control, pushing through Greens policies that Labor adopts and the Liberals and Nationals adopt: energy and climate—killing our economy and our country's future; COVID-19—killing our country, killing thousands of people and killing our economy; water—stealing rights to use water and stealing rights to use property; and contradicting the data—what we have here is the enablement of mandates so that employers will be forced to mandate treatments, and they'll face serious fines if they don't. We have two amendments to protect employers and remove vaccine mandates. If they pass, we will support this bill. If they do not, we will vote against it.

Let me tell you something. Some people ask whether I'm antivax. I am quite clearly not antivax. I am pro-medicine. We all want safe treatment. We are all pro-medicine. We all want to decide for ourselves what is put into our body. We all want freedom to make our own choice and for that choice to be accepted. We all wholeheartedly support medicines that are fully tested and proven safe, effective, affordable and, preferably, available. But I am completely opposed to making it mandatory to take an untested drug to engage in life and earning a living and—what's worse—stopping our children from eating because the breadwinner is out of work due to a vaccine mandate: 'If you want to eat, then you'll have to take this shot.' We totally oppose coercion. We are totally antimandate. We are pro-choice, freedom of choice, and I'm happy to be the placebo on any of these tests.

Labor, Liberal, the Nationals and the Greens have confirmed they're pushing control. We saw the Liberals and Nationals push, enable and drive vaccine mandates in the last parliament. Now we're seeing Labor do it through workplace health and safety. We will continue to work for workers and small and medium-sized enterprise businesses. We will fight for workers' rights and we will fight for families. We will oppose this bill unless our amendments get through. We will continue to support our sovereignty. We will continue to support our economic security. We will continue to support honest governance based on solid data and facts. We will oppose this bill unless the amendments are satisfactory.


No comments