Scenic Rim council to ask Annastacia Palaszczuk for vaccine mandate review

PUNISHMENT: Scenic Rim council says the upcoming restrictions on unvaccinated people should be reassessed by the state government. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
PUNISHMENT: Scenic Rim council says the upcoming restrictions on unvaccinated people should be reassessed by the state government. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen at this week's council meeting sought and received support from fellow councillors to ask Annastacia Palaszczuk to urgently reconsider the proposed restrictions to be imposed on unvaccinated residents when the borders reopen.

The state government mandate is part of the COVID-19 Transition Roadmap, which comes into effect on December 17.

The mayor said the government plan in its current form posed a threat to the Scenic Rim lifestyle and economy.

"It is my belief that there are a significant range of matters that should be re-examined by the Queensland government, while there is still time ahead of December 17 because they currently present onerous burdens for many in our Scenic Rim communities."

During discussions, Cr Jeff McConnell said asking for proposed restrictions to be evaluated was not enough.

"It's no secret ... that I am unvaccinated with an experimental COVID vaccine and will remain so," he said.

'I've been overwhelmed with the support I've received from both the unvaccinated as well as those who have been coerced into getting vaccinated just to keep their jobs.

"To effectively make people social pariahs just because they've chosen not to accept a medical procedure that is still in experimental stages is incorrigible.

"I think we have a basic human right to decide what goes into our bodies ... I don't agree with the assumption that this is equal to smallpox or whooping cough vaccines."

Cr McConnell said it was unfair to expect local businesses to police the vaccination mandate after the borders reopen.

"I don't think businesses should have to have someone stand at the door checking people's phones to see if they are vaccinated or unvaccinated," he said.

Cr Christensen said he had personal dialogue and email communications with residents about the issue.

"I am acutely aware that we have a significant population who are unable to receive a vaccine for genuine medical reasons," he said.

Rural Council chair at the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners Dr Michael Clements said it was doubtful that many people in the Scenic Rim could claim a legitimate medical reason for remaining unvaccinated.

"Vaccine exemptions for medical reasons are exceedingly rare," Dr Clements said.

"I suspect the mayor has been contacted by people who feel they should be exempt ... in reality only people who are currently unwell with COVID-19 would have a temporary exemption.

"People who have a significant adverse reaction to the first dose of one of the three vaccines available, and by that I mean people who end up in hospital, would then be offered one of the other vaccines."

Dr Clements said there had been a growing number of people collaborating on social media to come up with increasingly creative ways to be declared exempt from vaccination.

"People are claiming conditions such as anxiety should make them exempt from getting vaccinated and others saying they are allergic to components of the vaccine without actually having any evidence to back up their claims."

"You can even go online to buy a fake letter to say you are taking part in a vaccine trial.

"I run three GP clinics with more than 10,000 patients and none are exempt from COVID vaccination."

Dr Clements said while there was a clinical benefit to the mandate, especially to prevent COVID running rampant and putting vulnerable people at risk, the Queensland government had clearly introduced the proposed restrictions as a way to boost vaccination rates.

"The day after they announced the restrictions for unvaccinated people, the vaccination rates skyrocketed," he said.

Do you agree that the unvaccinated should be banned from Scenic Rim venues? Share your thoughts here: