City of Rockingham forced to hold electors meeting to hear out anti-vaxxers

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
Deb Hamblin, elected mayor in Rockingham.
Camera IconDeb Hamblin, elected mayor in Rockingham. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

The City of Rockingham is the latest local government to be forced into holding a special electors meeting on the State Government’s vaccine mandate in response to a signed request from more than 100 anti-vax electors.

Receiving the same motion as the City of Mandurah, anti-vaxxers are demanding the council “adopt an advocacy position statement” that ensures “no person shall or should be . . . discriminated against on the basis of vaccination status” or required to show proof of vaccination anywhere.

Under the Local Government Act, a council that receives a signed request by 100 electors or 5 per cent of the electors population, whichever is less, must accept and schedule a special electors meeting within 35 days of receiving the request.

The Sound Telegraph has obtained a copy of the motion, which demands the council “actively advocate for the removal (of) the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy and any associated directions made under the Public Health Act 2016”.

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The City of Rockingham said matters to be discussed as requested by electors include:

  • The effect of mandatory vaccination on electors, ratepayers, residents, and business in the district;
  • The effect of mandatory vaccination on the local government’s affairs and the performance of the local government’s functions;
  • Motions to be voted on for an advocacy position against mandatory vaccination for the council to consider adopting to provide leadership and guidance to the community in the district.

Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin said the City was complying with the meeting request as is required by law but that council can only deal with matters within its statutory powers.

“While a special electors meeting has been called and the purpose of the meeting advertised, we cannot speculate at this time what may come from that meeting and any council position that may result,” Ms Hamblin said.

“Any motion coming from the special electors meeting will subsequently be considered by council, noting that it can only deal with matters that are within its powers.”

The meeting has been scheduled for March 15 at Gary Holland Community Centre and is open to City of Rockingham electors.

The event will be subject to COVID-19 requirements and protocols.

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