Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:52): I want to use this opportunity to add to a contribution I made last night in the adjournment, where I was indicating that the vaccine rollout had gathered pace: 70 per cent of eligible Australians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated and South Australia has achieved 80 per cent vaccination for first dose.
I make this statement as a proud provaxxer, but vaccination should remain an individual’s choice. Those who choose not to be vaccinated should not be ostracised. Outside the aged-care setting, we don’t exclude those who haven’t taken the flu vaccine for work or in other aspects of life. A society that shuns the unvaccinated is not one that I want to live in, nor want a post-COVID Australia to look like. My family came to Australia seeking opportunity—opportunity born of the possibilities and freedoms that Australians enjoy. COVID normal should not involve the need to flash our vaccination status around just to go about our daily lives. Outside an aged-care facility or quarantine setting you should not need a vaccination to get a job, sit in a cafe or watch your favourite sporting team.
Let me be clear: as I said, I’m a provaxxer. I encourage all Australians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, if and when they can. But I also encourage Australians to think about the future of our society and what we want Australia to look like as we live with this virus.