Media Release 20th November 2021
Response to Craig Kelly’s question in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader 18th November Statement by Linda Seymour: In an article published on the 18th of November "Craig Kelly criticised for speaking at Melbourne Protest" (reference article) Craig Kelly posed the question:
"Do the independents support Human Rights - or do they condone the abuse of Human Rights and Government imposed medical coercion? Do they believe in the principle of ''my body my choice"?
Scott Morrison expressed sympathy for those at the Melbourne 'Freedom rally', by saying "it was now time for Australians to take their lives back”. That language about "taking back" suggests that governments took away our lives. This was an extraordinary thing for the Prime Minister to say at a time when extremists are pushing the freedom mantra as a reason for civil unrest and alarmingly threatening parliamentarians.
We as a community knew what was at stake with lockdowns, we were not mindlessly taking authoritarian direction. The statement shows a lack of respect to the intelligence of us as citizens and the way in which we willingly worked for the safety of our community.
My answer to Craig Kelly's question is this:
We have worked hard in Hughes. The Liverpool side of our electorate has been subject to some of the harshest lock down measures. No doubt the lock downs have felt overbearing, with an impact on emotional and physical well being. No one is disputing that.
Lives have been lost. Businesses have been lost or severely impacted. The root of this is not due to lock downs, it is because of a pandemic that has killed millions the world over. We have banded together to try and abate the worst of this crisis.
We have worked hard for a healthy return to a life less restricted. Vaccines and the incredible work of scientists and epidemiologist have enabled this. This is something to be marvelled at, not admonished.
Individual rights need to be respected, but so too does the health of our community. To "cry freedom' whilst willfully exposing others who are vulnerable is not something to be proud of.
If people who have chosen to remain unvaccinated (without medical exemptions) are excluded whilst we find our way out of a pandemic crisis, it is not because there is satisfaction in removing freedoms of movement, it is because as a society we prioritise the lives of the vulnerable.
For media contact – please call Anneliese Alexander on 0456 051 415