Flat White

Logic is still dead in Dom’s domain

10 March 2022

2:00 PM

10 March 2022

2:00 PM

Throughout the Covid-era there has been a significant lack of logic in decisions made and restrictions imposed. Double standards have shone through time and time again while all reason has been abandoned to accommodate inane decision-making that only benefits those who comply with government overreach.

It brings me no joy whatsoever to report that, despite a lessening of restrictions, this betrayal of logic has occurred yet again.

On Friday February 25, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that, from the following Monday, parents and visitors would be welcomed back into schools regardless of vaccination status. The decision was a welcome one, given there would be no discrimination based on a personal medical choice. But, as always, the government was not going to allow all vaccination discrimination to disappear just like that.

I have written previously about being a scripture teacher in a public primary school. It is something I have volunteered my time to do for several years. When vaccine mandates came in for the education sector last year, all scripture teachers were told they would need to be fully vaccinated to be permitted to return to teaching. As someone who did not want to take the vaccine, I decided to contact Fair Work Australia regarding the matter. I wrote about the conversation I had with Fair Work and their disgraceful lack of support for volunteers in a piece for this publication late last year. Since then, they have continued to abandon both volunteers and paid workers, failing to protect them from discriminatory government health mandates.

So, when Perrottet made his announcement, I thought this might finally allow volunteers like myself to return to schools regardless of whether we had taken the vaccine. But, again, unvaccinated volunteers remained lumped in with the mandates, and have still not been permitted to enter schools.

In fact, the NSW Department of Education sent out a notice to all volunteers stating that while masks were no longer mandatory in schools, ‘all staff and volunteers must be fully vaccinated and are expected to access their booster shots when they become eligible.’ This is despite there being no official mandate or public health order in place that requires staff and volunteers in education to get the booster.

Yet again, there is no logic to this decision. There is no telling how long parents and visitors could be in a school at any one time, but they are welcome to come in, even if unvaccinated. People like me, on the other hand, who only attend a school once a week for half an hour are not allowed to enter.

Where is the ‘science’ to support this inconsistency?

I put this question to the NSW Health Minister Sarah Mitchell in correspondence to her office. I received a response with all the usual ‘vaccination is the key to preventing the virus’ narrative, but it was one paragraph in particular that was most absurd:

As you are aware, from Monday 28 February 2022, schools and early childhood education services can invite visitors – including parents, carers and families – to their sites regardless of vaccination status, in line with settings in the broader community. However, workers and volunteers on these sites must meet mandatory vaccination requirements, including visitors supporting school operations and curriculum delivery. This is in line with advice from NSW Health, and reflects the greater levels of contact that workers and volunteers have with children on school sites compared to visitors.’

This response further demonstrates the backwards logic of the government. Children have been at minimal risk from Covid for the duration of the pandemic. Omicron is even milder.

If anything, volunteers should be classified as visitors, given we are not working at the school all day.

We know the vaccine does not prevent transmission. We know that, at best, it only protects the individual who has taken it. And we now have unvaccinated parents and visitors going into schools all over the state. So, why should volunteers still be forced to get a vaccine?

This decision is both unscientific and inconsistent. It is as if the government wants to hold some power over people. By keeping some mandates in place, they demonstrate that they can still control us if they want to.

One would be forgiven for thinking that Dominic Perrottet would be against this policy.

There are two key reasons he should be steering away from it. Of course, there is his Catholic faith – the values of which hold that we should treat others how we would like to be treated. The Faith’s central figure, Jesus Christ, told the Apostles that the followers of Christ should not cast out the lepers nor, for that matter, the children.

The policy is also a terrible look for the supposedly Liberal government, given the recent by-election catastrophe. The swings against the government have proven to be problematic. Not only did the Liberal Party’s Coalition partner lose Bega, but the Liberals suffered a monumental swing against them in Willoughby, which is also bad news for the federal government.

Scott Morrison should know better than anyone that he will need a miracle to win the federal election. The swing in Willoughby demonstrates that Liberal Party efforts to please inner-city small-l liberals, who are far closer to the Greens than the centre-right, are futile.

Both Perrottet and Morrison are men of faith and they must come to realise that senseless mandates hurt their chances of re-election.

Labor learned the hard way that turning away from Christian voters makes winning difficult. Several Labor held seats with a large Christian population recorded swings against them in the 2019 Election after Labor demonstrated contempt for Christians.

There is a chance for the government to save themselves. The correspondence I received from the NSW Minister for Education’s office stated:

‘On 15 December 2021, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard signed the Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order (no.2), which commenced from 17 December 2021 for a period of three months. This effectively continues the existing Public Health Order requiring mandatory vaccination for education and care workers.’

This means the current order expires on March 17, 2022.

End this mandate. Do not extend it. Let volunteers go back to work. Let scripture teachers like me continue to teach the next generation of Christians the faith that you both hold dear. And if you hesitate to do so, ask yourself this – what would Jesus do? Or perhaps in your case there is a question more apt – what would be the best decision to ensure I keep my job?

It’s over to you, but keep in mind Christians will never forget the choice you make, especially at the ballot box.

Joel Agius is an independent writer. If you would like to read more of his work, you can do so at JJ’s Outlook

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