MEDIA RELEASE

8 September 2021

Tim Quilty condemns announcement of mandatory vaccination for Victorians

The relief Northern Victorians will be feeling following the easing of regional Victoria’s lockdown will be diminished by the news that Victorians stranded outside the state will be forced to be vaccinated before they can come home, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty said today.

Having spoken in Parliament on Tuesday night about the 16,000 Victorians stranded in NSW, and calling on the Andrews Government to let these long-suffering victims of COVID policy back home, Mr Quilty expressed outrage at this unlawful vaccination compulsion.

“Nobody should be locked out of their home state with the obligation that they get vaccinated before being allowed to return,” Mr Quilty said.

“It is a breach of the Victorian charter of human rights to compel someone to undergo a medical treatment. The Government is setting up a vaccine apartheid system – where the unvaccinated will be excluded from society.

“This is an absolutely disgusting requirement which Premier Daniel Andrews must rescind immediately.

“I am not anti-vaccination. I have had my two shots, and I think vaccination is a good idea. However, I firmly believe everyone has the right to make this decision for themselves.

“It is most certainly not acceptable for the Government to be forcing people to take medical treatments, or to disclose their medical histories.

“Of course I’m pleased regional Victorians will be allowed to get back to their daily lives and that these destructive lockdown restrictions are being rolled back.

“But I am extremely concerned at this creep towards mandatory vaccination.”

“Given that we now know the vaccinated can still catch and spread the virus, the scientific case for vaccine passports has been shredded. Of course there was never a moral justification for them.

“Individuals should be able to make a decision on vaccination which is best for them. The unvaccinated will be putting themselves at greater risk – but just themselves.”

Mr Quilty said the problem of travellers stuck outside Victoria has been an increasingly worrying problem, with his office receiving call after call from people who have needed to leave Victoria for valid reasons and whom the Government have left stranded and homeless.

“I said last night in Parliament that requiring stranded Victorians to isolate when they get home and provide negative COVID test results was excessive but better than being stuck,” Mr Quilty said.

“But I listened with stunned disbelief as Health Minister Martin Foley joyfully announced stranded Victorians would only be allowed home if they can show evidence of at least their first vaccination.

“I suppose I should be encouraged that stranded travellers have been given some degree of optimism, assuming the permit system works properly, but I cannot condone the paving of the way towards government-mandated vaccination for Victorians.”