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23 November, 2021

Tablelanders stand up for choice

HUNDREDS of Tableland locals attended a rally in Atherton last week expressing their objection to Queensland’s new vaccination mandate due to take effect next month.

By Rhys Thomas

Hundreds of Tablelands locals turned out to a rally in Atherton last week openly opposing the Queensland Government’s new vaccine mandate.

A mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated locals attended the rally, standing up against the recently announced mandate and standing for pro-choice. 

The new mandate is set to come into effect on 17 December or when Queensland hits the 80 per cent double vaccination target. It means unvaccinated Queenslanders will be denied entry into pubs, clubs, cafes, cinemas, hospitals and aged care homes. 

They were joined by Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and State Member for Hill Shane Knuth who both stand passionately for freedom of choice. “I vehemently oppose mandatory vaccination,” Mr Knuth said to the crowd. 

“This is the lowest point in Queensland’s history in regards to forcing people to take something that hasn’t even been proven yet. 

“I brought it up in Parliament that this is nothing but a segregation policy – I put that question to the Premier yesterday. She has always opposed segregation but when it comes to vaccination she is out there promoting something. 

“We want to make sure that we work with businesses to have this draconian law thrown out – keep lobbying the councils and let’s try and get all of the councils on board.” 

Mr Katter revealed that while both he and Mr Knuth have both had the vaccine, they believe people should have the choice to get vaccinated or not. 

“If you want to exercise your right to have a jab, go right ahead, I did – if you want to exercise your right not to have a jab, do just that,” Mr Katter said. 

Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and State Member for Hill Shane Knuth were in attendance.

“The Food and Drug Administration in America says at the very least there should be three and a half years of testing for a vaccine but that’s in very exceptional circumstances – normally it’s six years. 

“This thing was rushed through in about three and a half months – those are the factual aspects. If you seriously believe you’re going to get everyone vaccinated, you believe in the tooth fairy. 

“The time has come for Federal Government intervention here and let the States beware because they are going to lose a lot of power as a result.” 

Several businesses expressed their distress about what the new mandate means for them and their patrons. 

Gina Crameri has worked in accommodation for over 25 years on the Tablelands under Yungaburra Accommodation, managing three separate ventures. 

“I do have a lot of accommodation up in the area which has been very tough over these last couple of years,” she said. 

I’ve already had quite a number of phone calls, people calling me saying ‘what is your stand if the mandate goes through?’ I’m 100 per cent not going to stop anyone coming through the door in our business. 

“We’ve already been segregated, we haven’t been able to be with our families and this is going to cause even more problems. 

“I hope that we all stand up for freedom – there shouldn’t be any segregation at all about being vaccinated or unvaccinated. The Queensland Government at the moment is going on the wrong path.” 

  •  Last week The Express reported unvaccinated people could not visit dental or physiotherapy services. This is incorrect and The Express apologies for any confusion caused.

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