Coronavirus is a real problem, but the government’s response is being driven by fear that is out of proportion to the actual risk. The current policy of “zero COVID” is absurd, impossible, and hugely costly. The only sustainable solution is that Australia will need to learn how to live with COVID just as we live with the flu and other viruses. Ongoing government restrictions have created massive harms in terms of personal freedom, children’s education, struggling businesses & community groups, government debt, lost personal connections, loss of privacy, deteriorating health & happiness, mental health issues, and lives lost. This cannot continue. Australia needs some real leadership to show a clear path out of the current mess.
Some COVID restrictions should never have been introduced and should be removed as soon as possible. We should not have lockdowns, mask mandates, or protest bans. Vaccines should be readily available to all who want them, but must remain voluntary.
- Open the schools. School closures have created far more harm than benefit, and schools should be reopened immediately.
- Phase out lockdowns & no new lockdowns. Lockdowns create more harm than benefit and should never have been introduced. Current lockdowns should be phased out in an orderly manner, and there should be no new lockdowns.
- Peaceful protests must be allowed. The right to protest is fundamental to a free society, and the police should work with protest organisers to ensure safe and peaceful events are able to go ahead.
- Vaccines should be available and voluntary. Mandatory vaccinations and domestic vaccine passports are incompatible with a free society and should never be tolerated. Private property owners should be able to set conditions of entry, but they should not be encouraged to discriminate by regulatory favours or government programs. Real vaccination choice also means open access to vaccines, free from unnecessary regulatory burdens.
- Wind back the mask mandate. The use of some types of masks can be helpful in some circumstances, but they should not be forced on people by the government. Businesses should be allowed to set their own mask rules on their own property, and people should be able to make their own decisions in outdoor public spaces. Government can continue to set mask rules for government buildings and government-run transport in the short-term.
- Ensure Australians can get home. The government should never abandon Australians caught overseas who want to return home.
- Improve the nation’s quarantine capacity. Effective and efficient quarantine facilities should have been established as soon as travel restrictions were imposed (or earlier). Facilities need immediate improvement, both for the benefit of Australians returning from overseas now and in preparation for future pandemics.
Freedom Day: 4th of December 2021
Some COVID restrictions are understandable during the early parts of a pandemic, but after 18 months it is long past time for Australia to set a date for returning to the “old normal” with no COVID restrictions. This “Freedom Day” should be before Christmas this year, and we have suggested aiming for the 4th of December, which is the first weekend of summer. Setting a date will give people time to get vaccinated if they choose, make their own preparations, and provide hope that we will soon be able to live in a free country again.
- Remove the border closures & travel restrictions. After Freedom Day there should be no restrictions on the movement between states, and no limits or quarantine requirements for international travel.
- Remove contact tracing and QR codes. The right to privacy is crucial in a free society and needs to be returned to the people as soon as possible.
- Remove mask mandates on government property. All remaining government mask rules should be removed, so that we return to the pre-COVID situation.
- Remove social distancing & mandatory self-isolation. Private businesses and households are free to maintain their own rules, but all the government’s COVID regulations should be removed.
- Investigation of Australia’s COVID response. Once Australia has returned to “old normal” we should have a Royal Commission into our COVID response.
- End the “emergency powers”. Government has operated with emergency powers for too long already. Those powers should not be renewed, and they should not be replaced by imitation legislation that gives similar powers.