Victoria becomes first state to bar MPs from parliament if they refuse Covid vaccine – despite furious politician calling it ‘apartheid’
- MPs must be fully vaccinated by the end of November to enter the Victorian Parliament
- A Liberal MP, who refused to be stabbed, called it ‘medical apartheid’
- These comments were labeled as ‘deeply offensive’ by Daniel Andrews
Victoria is the first Australian state or territory to ban unvaccinated MPs from entering Parliament.
A government motion on Thursday evening passed 31 votes in favor and four against the Senate, after more than two hours of fierce debate and failed amendments by the Liberal Democrats and independent MP Catherine Cumming.
All members and staff must now provide proof that they have received at least one dose of vaccine by Friday in order to continue working on site, or have an appointment booked for October 22.
They will also need to have their second dose by November 26.
The motion is in line with a vaccination mandate for all other Victorian authorized workers, which also goes into effect on Friday.
Victorian MPs must now be fully vaccinated to enter state parliament (pictured) by November 26
Any member who does not follow the rules will be suspended from parliament until the second session of the parliamentary year 2022.
The motion was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday morning with the support of all but one MPs, Liberal Neil Angus, who argued the demand to show proof of the jab was “undemocratic” and “medical apartheid”.
During his speech, Mr. Angus quoted Dr. Simone Gold, who leads a group spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and who was charged with participating in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Louise Staley of the opposition and Tim Read of the Greens expressed concern about the motion, despite their support.
These include a constitutional problem with preventing members from performing their responsibilities, and the right to consent to health care.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Angus’ comparison of vaccine mandate to apartheid was ‘inappropriate and deeply offensive’
Mr Angus is the only MP in the Liberal Party Chamber who has not been vaccinated, and opposition leader Matthew Guy has admitted he will not be able to convince him to get the shot.
‘I cannot force a 60-year-old man to undergo medical treatment. What I believe in is teaching people why it’s so important,” Guy told reporters in parliament.
He said the Liberal-National coalition supported the motion, as other authorized workers must be vaccinated.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Mr Angus’ comparison of the vaccine mandate to apartheid was “inappropriate and deeply offensive”.
“Mandatory vaccination is about keeping people out of hospital, ending the lockdown… it’s about freedom,” he said.
All Labor MPs have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the ‘handful’ who have not yet been fully vaccinated have signed up to receive their second dose in the coming weeks.
Liberal Democrat MP David Limbrick said he and party colleague Tim Quilty had been fully vaccinated but would refuse to hand over evidence and join parliament remotely to protest the rule.