Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023


Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2022; In Committee

1:14 pm

Photo of Alex AnticAlex Antic (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I will start by picking up on some of the comments of Senator Canavan and congratulate him on moving this amendment. I speak in support of this amendment. I thank Senators Rennick, Babet and Roberts for their support for this.

What this represents is a moral lifeboat for this chamber. As Senator Canavan has outlined in his oratory, we are seeing the business end of what we saw over the last two years in this country. I come from a lineage of people from the former Yugoslavia. My grandmother, I believe, would have turned in her grave if she had seen what had become of the country that she came to after leaving communist Yugoslavia in the late 1940s. People from the Eastern Bloc would stop me all the time a year ago or 18 months ago and say: 'We fled our country because of this sort of tyranny. We fled our country because of what was happening.' People may laugh at that. They shouldn't, but they may, and those opposite have spent the better part of the last two years simply dismissing these claims as tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theories. None of us have found our tinfoil hats today. Senator Roberts has lost his. Senator Babet has left his in his office.

But what you are seeing is people in this chamber who are very serious, who have picked this up early and who've understood the outrage of what has happened. The fact that there was never any justification, as Senator Canavan quite rightly says, for what we saw over the last two years is 100 per cent true. We knew it at the time. Many of us knew it at the time. There is now an opportunity which has afforded itself for people in this chamber to swallow their pride and understand that what they have been party to has been wrong. There was a time in this country when the left of politics, Labor and the Greens, stood for working people.

Some of the stories that I've been hearing over the last two years have been nothing short of heartbreaking. I will take the opportunity to let people stand in the shoes of those who have lost their houses, their businesses and in some cases their life savings simply for the heinous crime of refusing—see if you can make this out—to take an experimental therapy which had never been tested.

We can hang on the issue that it was provisionally approved by the TGA. Think about what that means. This really wasn't tested at all. That is a fact. We are now seeing incredible instances—coincidences of the highest order—of excess deaths and problems with pregnancies. People have been proven right. I'm sorry to tell you all—you've all been had. The mainstream media have done a number on you like you've never seen before. You've fallen for it. But here's the beautiful thing about this place—we're all ready to forgive; we're all ready to forget. It's time that we moved on and allowed people to get back to work in this country. Senator Canavan outlined earlier, very correctly, that we are living in a world where you can quite rightly not be discriminated against because of your race, gender or a range of other issues. Yet somehow, the decisions you make about your own medical care do not have that kind of protection. It is quite extraordinary that we are still going down this path, particularly when there was never a case for mandates, as we have seen. The Premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, made this observation last week:

… here is no evidence that vaccines in the current environment have any impact at all on transmission of Covid.

You are not protecting grandma if you are taking this experimental therapy. You are not protecting your workmates. There was never a case for it. But the good news is this: we've got an opportunity for everyone to right the ship. Take the moral lifeboat and support this amendment.


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