VACCINATED and unvaccinated Australians will stand side-by-side today in a united front against extreme vaccine mandates and tough COVID-19 restrictions in the “Worldwide Rally for Freedom” protests taking place in 13 cities across the country.
Concerned Hinchinbrook residents are also joining the fight with a similar rally at Rotary Park in Ingham at 1:00 pm.
The planned “Liberty to Choose Rally” aims at sending a clear message to the State Government regarding ‘no jab, no job’ mandates and the new restrictions impacting, not only the unvaccinated, but the affected tourism and hospitality businesses around the region.
Local Pastor, Nino Marolla is one of the organisers of the Ingham event and said that many locals felt let down by the government and it’s proposed COVID recovery plan.
“The people have elected these people to be our representatives and make careful decisions for the people, without prejudice.
‘We are offering a support group for those feeling alone and desperate and need encouragement about their decision to be vaccinated or not. Both sides will have a peaceful place to share their reasons for taking the stance they have chosen and to be accepted.’
After hearing the Queensland Government’s announcement last week that unvaccinated Queenslanders will be shut out of pubs, restaurants, cafes, state government-owned museums, galleries and libraries and unable to visit hospitals or residential aged care facilities, Ps Marolla said the new rules were totally “unfair and unlawful”.
He said: ‘I believe that it is unlawful and inhuman to use mandating, coercion, bribes and monetary rewards to get people to take a drug that is only provisionally approved.’
Ps Marolla worries the segregation these laws will impose will do more harm than the virus.
‘Being forced to comply with senseless restrictions for the unvaccinated, having their God given freedom to attend the huge list of events, entertainment and eating places stripped away from them.
‘This will segregate the community and is already causing relational friction among families, friends, work mates and support structures for anxious and mentally ill people caused by de-humanizing totalitarian measures forced upon them.
‘Already, people are leaving their loved jobs and others being told that they will have to be jabbed by a certain date or be sacked.’
Ps Marolla has personally seen the impact of the new laws already with his granddaughter being told she will lose her job from 17 December.
‘Our 14-year-old granddaughter who works casually, has been told by her employer that she would have to be double-jabbed to work there any longer.
‘I don’t know who is more devastated, the employer or our granddaughter.
‘Employers will suffer with loss of trained staff, of unvaccinated customers who will boycott their businesses and it will affect the business income.’
Despite, Hinchinbrook sitting among the top LGA’s with the highest vaccinations rates in Queensland, Mayor of Hinchinbrook Ramon Jayo has made a last-minute plea to those in the community who are not yet fully vaccinated to go and get the jab before borders re-open.
‘I urge everyone yet to be vaccinated or yet to receive their second does to do so as a matter of priority so that we achieve the 80 per cent asap.
‘The message from state health authorities is quite clear, “If you are unvaccinated and the virus comes into your community, the virus will hunt you out”.
‘We want our community to be safe and for our elderly, the most at risk, to feel safe going about their lives as they normally would in our district.
‘We want freedom to visit our friends and relatives wherever they may be, whilst safeguarding our health and the health of our community.
Mayor Jayo expects the list of “no go areas for unvaccinated people” will be extended to include local government assets including Council libraries, pools and playgrounds.
He said: ‘Do we want all these dramas in our community? No. So please, let’s get this over and done with.’
Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto has voiced local’s concerns in Parliament this week pushing for an alternative plan that would protect all Queenslanders without causing “segregation and discrimination”.
The Katter Australian Party’s proposed plan would see unvaccinated Queenslanders make use of the COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests approved by the Therapeutic Good Administration in place of “vaccine passports”.
Mr Dametto fears some businesses would be forced to close their doors or drastically reduce operating hours to cope with losing staff who for a multitude of reasons don’t feel comfortable getting the vaccine.
He said: ‘We are coming into the craziest time of year; consumer confidence is up, and business owners are now left with the task of gearing up for Christmas and the holiday season with the prospect of losing up to 20 per cent of their staff. Sacking people a week before Christmas is a low blow even for this Government.’
Ps Marolla encouraged the community to be part of the rally and to get their voices heard.
He said: “The rally is for concerned locals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated who are uniting to walk together against megalomanic leaders who use fear tactics, which is causing free flowing anxiety among many members of our community.
‘We will get through this only by being united and compassionate, and respect the freedom to choose how to live in harmony, as the good Lord has commanded.’