SYDNEY—A law firm is preparing what it claims will be the “largest-ever class action” on behalf of aged care workers against mandatory vaccinations.
The firm, G&B Lawyers, has launched a GoFundMe campaign with the aim of raising $1 million (US$735, 150). As of Aug. 16, the campaign has raised over $344,000.
It is also calling for aged care workers to join the suit.
In June, the intergovernmental decision-making body, the national cabinet, agreed to make vaccinations for aged care workers mandatory in response to the emergence of the Delta variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“This is not something any government should do lightly … we have been considering this matter for some time now based on the best possible medical advice,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
The goal is to have most workers vaccinated before Sept. 17, 2021. In Australia, the state governments are mainly responsible for managing and funding healthcare services.
However, groups of health workers have indicated a reluctance to be compelled to take the jab.
A May survey from the Queensland nurse’s union, the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, found that 81 percent of its members did not think they should make the COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory. A further 75 percent said it would not be fair for an employer to refuse work to a nurse if they did not have the vaccine.
The union said some common concerns were around the short clinical trial phase of the vaccines, rushed production, potential side-effects, and freedom of choice.
Meanwhile, G&B Lawyer’s action will be targeting the federal and state government for damages, according to its Facebook page. Currently, the governments of South Australia, Western Australia, and likely Queensland will be sued.
“Enough is enough. It’s time to tell the State and Commonwealth Governments NO WAY to any mandatory COVID-19 vaccination,” the GoFundMe page stated.
“Last year, each of the State Governments introduced legislation which compelled aged care workers to have flu vaccinations. That was the test run,” it continued. “In the coming days and weeks, they will try and force and or coerce people to have a COVID-19 vaccination.”
The firm is citing the Constitution and legal cases to support its argument.
Section 51 (xxiiiA) of the Australian Constitution allows the federal government to make laws in the provision of medical benefits and allowances but is not authorised to use “civil conscription.”
Chief Justice John Latham of the High Court has defined civil conscription as the “compulsion of law” to require individuals to engage in a particular occupation or work.
G&B Lawyers will need to extrapolate on this and convince a judge that this extends to mandatory vaccinations.