Scenic Rim councillor to host Beaudesert COVID vaccine mandate forum

UNVAXXED AND PROUD: Cr Jeff McConnell says the vaccine mandate is a breach of human rights. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

UNVAXXED AND PROUD: Cr Jeff McConnell says the vaccine mandate is a breach of human rights. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SCENIC Rim councillor Jeff McConnell has invited interested residents and business owners to join a discussion of the pending restrictions for anyone not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cr McConnell believes the restrictions due to take effect on December 17 are a punishment and form of coercion.

The government has announced anyone not double vaccinated by then would be restricted from entering certain places including pubs, clubs, restaurants and sporting arenas after Queensland reaches 80 per cent vaccination rate and borders reopen.

The Queensland Health website says the move is not a form of punishment but a way to "open our borders, not overwhelm our hospital system, and not penalise vaccinated people for the choices of others to remain unvaccinated".

"We do need to acknowledge that Queenslanders have had every opportunity to be vaccinated by now. What we're doing here is by no means unique to Queensland. New South Wales and Victoria both have quite strict restrictions on what unvaccinated people can do as well."

As of November 21 less than 70 per cent of Scenic Rim residents had received a second dose of vaccine.

Councillors voted on Tuesday to ask the state government to review the restrictions for the Scenic Rim because they posed a threat to the community's way of life as well as to the local economy.

Cr McConnell was very vocal in his condemnation of the government's stance and said writing a letter to Annastacia Palaszczuk was not enough.

The Division 2 councillor created a Facebook event on Wednesday, inviting people to attend a discussion forum at The Centre Beaudesert on Sunday.

Cr McConnell said the event was moved to Jubilee Park because the number of people interested exceeded the capacity at The Centre.

"This is about basic human rights ... and the rights of business owners to serve or allow entry to any citizen regardless of their vaccination status," he said.

"The government is trying to separate people to force them into getting vaccinated.

"It's a slippery slope from here ... what's the next thing?"

Cr McConnell said Sunday's event would enable the community to have their say on the issue, with hundreds expected to attend.

"I've spoken with the local police and they're happy with about 500," he said.

"We can't pick and choose who comes, it's an open air event. If more turn up it shows the state government there's and issue and they need to start listening to the people.

"This is me as a councillor ... we represent the people in the community and we need to take a lead on this. Not just send Annastacia a letter and then ask to meet her.

"We need to hear from the people and we need to act on that. I'm not sure how this is going to go down with me as a councillor and I'm still trying to find that out.

"We'll have to wait and see, I'll take whatever punishment that comes my way if I've gone against the rules. but I believe people need to have their say."

The event in Jubilee Park will now be run by the Scenic Rim "We Stand For Freedom" pro choice/anti mandate group.

This comes as Bowman MP Andrew Laming announced a similar rally to be held on December 5 at Cleveland.

"The imposition of COVID-19 vaccine mandates has been haphazard and politicised," Dr Laming said.

"That's why we need greater debate and more information, particularly to reveal the public health evidence behind these mandates.

"These mandates have the potential to destroy people's lives and livelihoods if people are forced to give up jobs because they're not vaccinated."

Dr Laming said he supported efforts to raise vaccination levels as high as locals allowed.

"Queensland vaccination rates have lagged since day one," he added. "That now threatens our tourism peak season and thousands of jobs.

"The mandates appear to be punishing the few to compensate for the collapse in confidence wrought by the previous CHO defaming the Astra Zeneca vaccine. We are now a million jabs behind where Queensland should be."

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