Alan Buchbach for Dickson
Thomas Jefferson described it best: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and [Property].--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.
Covid Mandates & Lockdowns
I am opposed to vaccine mandates and lockdowns.
This is for two principle reasons. Firstly, as Jefferson put it so well more than two centuries ago: Governments are instituted among men to secure our God-given rights, including liberty. The most basic concept of liberty includes many personal freedoms such as our rights to bodily autonomy, to privacy, to peaceably assemble and our rights to freedom of speech and expression (and many others).
All of which have been abrogated or infringed upon over the past 3 years by State and Commonwealth Governments. Even where protected by law or our constitution.
The second reason, is that I am a scientist. It has deeply offended me as a scientist, that the governments of Australia and Queensland have repeatedly ignored facts which are supported by numerous studies and data whenever those facts were in opposition to their intended policy. Policy should be chosen upon the basis of facts, facts should not be chosen upon the basis of policy.
Both private companies and Local, State and Commonwealth Governments have been in violation of the spirit and goals of the Australian Privacy Act 1988 throughout the pandemic. Specifically in Queensland via blanket-promotions of "health officer" status to police, allowing them to side-step the privacy protections as set forth in the Act, including part 1 of the covidsafe amendment (section 94D).
I would ensure "health officer" is legally defined to mean one's treating physician, nurse or paramedic; and that their ability to access your health data without consent shall only apply when you are unable to give consent. For example, when unconscious.
With respect to lockdowns:
I would request the Australian Attorney General investigate the legality of the QLD-NSW border closures in August 2020 and the numerous closures in mid-to-late 2021 regarding the delta variant as well as the arrests made in regard to said closures.
Border closures and lockdowns of the sort previously enacted in Melbourne (and those like the most horrific lockdown currently enacted in Shanghai) are not and cannot be lawful in Queensland for the numerous reasons I present below. I shall work tirelessly in Canberra to prevent such actions.
Sir Henry Parkes stated with respect to his addition of Section 92 of the Australian Constitution: "I seek to define what seems to me an absolutely necessary condition of anything like perfect federation, that is, that Australia, as Australia, shall be free — free on the borders, free everywhere — in its trade and intercourse between its own people; that there shall be no impediment of any kind — that there shall be no barrier of any kind between one section of the Australian people and another; but, that the trade and the general communication of these people shall flow on from one end of the continent to the other, with no one to stay its progress or call it to account."
This section of the constitution still holds that "intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free." Intercourse in this sense meaning travel and communication.
In order to have this right to travel among the states, one must be free to travel within and without the state as well. This understanding is reinforced in Queensland under our Human Rights Act of 2019.
Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 2019 states that: "Every person lawfully within Queensland has the right to move freely within Queensland and to enter and leave it, and has the freedom to choose where to live."
If wading through the legislation isn't for you, the QHRC provides a useful fact sheet pdf summary here.
With respect to invasions of privacy:
No employee or potential employee should be coerced into providing their private medical information, or undergoing a specific course of treatment, with the threat of losing their employment or employment opportunity.
In 2001 a case was brought before the High Court, Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Meats Pty Ltd (‘Lenah’). The standard presented in Lenah was that Certain kinds of information about a person, such as information relating to health, personal relationships, or finances, may be easy to identify as private; as may certain kinds of activity, which a reasonable person, applying contemporary standards of morals and behaviour, would understand to be meant to be unobserved.
The High Court of Australia decision in this case is that individuals do have an expectation of privacy (though Lenah Meats was not an individual), that information relating to health was easy to identify as private, and opened the path for individuals seeking redress for privacy invasions via tort.
I would reaffirm this finding as recommended to the UNSW law journal. I would additionally make it clear under the Act that privacy violations such as mandating collection of personal medical information, whether well-intentioned or ill, constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy and that remuneration for such violations shall include court costs at a minimum.