Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Statements by Senators
Lambie, Senator Jacqui
HANSON (—) (): [by video link] I want to talk today about a few facts that need to be cleared up. Yesterday on the floor of parliament Senator Jacqui Lambie made comments in her speech with regard to the vaccination, saying that One Nation is doing things for money and power. This is as far from the truth as it possibly could be. Our stance is about the rights of the Australian people to have a choice of whether they get the vaccination or not. Many Australians are being forced to have this vaccination against their will in order to keep their jobs. That is a fact. Also, Senator Roberts and I are highly regarded for our integrity and our honesty.
Senator Lambie also made a statement yesterday that One Nation's Senator Roberts released her phone number. Let me just state the facts, because the media aren't prepared to do it. It was stated that we released her private number—that's not the case. You see, that number was put out on a letterhead in 2014. That number was used in a Facebook post on 17 and 19 April. It was posted by her on her Facebook, calling for people to contact her on that number in order to put signage up in their yards. That was a public number. It was a number that she used to tell a constituent that she totally opposed COVID vaccinations and that it was a matter of choice. Well, what a flip-flop she's done! That's not exactly what she said on the floor of parliament yesterday. She's telling her constituents in Tasmania something different to what she says in the Canberra bubble. I believe that Senator Lambie has misled parliament, and I won't wear it because I will not be accused, or allow Senator Roberts to be accused, or for an untruth to be told. I expect the media to get their act together, print the truth and tell the people exactly what happened. I of all people understand the privacy of a phone number because I have been through a hell of a lot more over the years than Senator Jacqui Lambie has. I see this as nothing but crocodile tears and having a go at One Nation again, and I won't stand for it.
I'm disgusted with Senator Wong and Senator Birmingham because I believe that yesterday they colluded to allow her the time to make her statement. We had no idea what was happening, and they tried to deny us access to respond to what was stated on the floor of parliament—although I've got to say that Senator Birmingham did allow it, and he got the case across for Senator Roberts to have a say. But that's not what they wanted. They wanted to try to discredit us.
Let me also now go to COVID. Yesterday the public saw the rantings of—I've got to say, going back to Senator Lambie, it's very important for people to know that she put her speech up on her Facebook page. She's had over 17½ thousand comments, and isn't it interesting that 85 to 90 per cent of the people are absolutely disgusted and call her statement 'unhinged' and 'childish'. Those aren't my words; those are their words—but I can't disagree with them. Then again, one post said: 'Absolutely saddened by your display today, Senator Jacqui Lambie. You just showed how divisive, hypocritical and prejudiced you really are.' And that was only one post. I suggest that people go and have a look at the posts, because people are absolutely furious about their rights being taken away from them.
I would say that the person who doesn't understand this whole debate is Senator Jacqui Lambie, when she talks about choice. I will inform her that people are not given a choice. People are denied the right to work. They're losing their jobs and losing their businesses. They can't go into the health profession. These are the heroes of last year who were patted on the back for the work they did—unvaccinated, mind you—but now they can't.
Let me now go to a medical health centre in South Australia. It says, 'We'll continue to offer our services to patients who are fully vaccinated.' But it says that those patients who are not vaccinated will need to book a phone consult and pay a gap of $20. So it doesn't matter what your health issue is; you possibly need to see a doctor but, 'Don't come near us; you're not vaccinated!' This is divisive in our society.
Let me also go to the fact that I would like to congratulate and thank those senators who supported my bill on the floor of parliament: Senator Sam McMahon, Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells, Senator Rennick, Senator Antic and Senator Matt Canavan. Thank you very much for your support, for your common sense and for standing up for the rights of the Australian people. Let me also tell you now about Senator Keneally's rant that went on before parliament. She carried on. Guess what? She didn't even vote; there was no vote recorded. She didn't put her money where her mouth was, did she? And I'd also like to tell Queenslanders that Senator Amanda Stoker and Senator James McGrath were there and they didn't vote. What is their stance on this? They're both up for re-election.
Senator Rennick made a statement in his speech that doctors are being told that they can't talk about anything that's divisive or antivaxxer whatsoever. He was ridiculed in a Brisbane Times article by AHPRA chief, Martin Fletcher, stating that it wasn't really true. He said that the agency did not have the power to deregister health professionals and he added that its vaccine stance was in line with that of the government. That may be true, but, then again, if you read their paperwork, which I have here, it states:
… practitioners must be careful not to discourage their patient or client from seeking vaccination. Practitioners authorised to prescribe and/or administer the vaccine but who have a conscientious objection must ensure appropriate referral options are provided for vaccination.
So if you can't give it then give it to someone else who is going to give it to them, regardless of doctor-patient. It then goes on to say:
Any promotion of anti-vaccination statements or health advice which contradicts the best available scientific evidence—
From who? What scientist? Are we listening to all science? No we're not, because they're shut down—
or seeks to actively undermine the national immunisation campaign—
This is what the politicians want for you—
(including via social media) is not supported by National Boards and may be in breach of the codes of conduct and subject to investigation and possible regulatory action.
It's stating they will actually be fined or in fear of losing their licences. Why do we think these doctors are in fear of coming out? They will tell us personally, behind the scenes, but they don't want to lose their licences which they've worked so hard for in order to work in the best interests of the public. They're shut down from having an opinion on this. It's disgraceful that this is allowed to happen; it's covering up. Let the true science be said.
I would now like to read a short thing that Nick Cater put in. He was talking about the number of people infected in the past four months of the pandemic in Victoria being four times larger than the number of infections in the last 14 months, and he also said:
Neither have vaccines provided the immunity from infection we were led to expect. It provides personal protection against severe illness but will not slow the spread or remove the risk of death altogether. Victorian health authorities remain coy about how many of the 330 people in intensive care were double vaccinated, but the data from more open jurisdictions such as Britain suggests many of them are. The same data also suggests vaccinated people are more likely to spread the virus than the unvaccinated because they might be asymptomatic and not know they have it. The exclusion of the unvaccinated from public places is untenable on public health grounds unless the object is deterrence through humiliation.
That's what we're up against, and I say to the members of parliament: go and get your facts, know what you're talking about and stand up for the rights of the Australian people. We have to find the answers, but don't deny them the right to their freedoms to choose and don't stop them from working in this nation, wanting to open up the borders to allow millions to come into the country to take their jobs.