Originally Posted by shotinfo
The constitution of the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) and our code of ethics (which has been in existence since 1996) absolutely precludes us taking any stance that could be considered to be anti vaccination. We support freedom of choice and freedom of information and absolutely oppose any form of compulsion when it comes to vaccination or medicine.
If anyone would like to read more about this - the latest in a string of attempts by the government and the Australian Skeptics / Stop the AVN - to shut our group down, please read http://nocompulsoryvaccination.com/2012/12/16/government-puts-boot-into-the-avn-democracy-and-the-truth/
Australia does not have a bill of rights - we do not have the right to freedom of speech as Americans do though High Court decisions have upheld the right to freedom of communication. In a democracy, we should not have the government telling us what we can or can't call our organisation unless the name was slanderous or obscene. The Australian Vaccination Network is neither.
All the best,
Australian Vaccination Network
What an interesting thing for you to say Meryl, the high court determined that you were anti-vaccination during your hearing this year with the HCCC. Indeed, you site sells a t-shirt that says "love them, protect them, never inject them", now I can't see how you can possibly try and present yourself as pro-choice. I notice that you have once again presented the "opposition to compulsion" argument which I don't disagree with, however it is a strawman as there is no compulsory vaccination in Australia and there never will be. It's another deception designed to gather support, and it's one of the considerations the government had prior to ordering you to change the organisations name.
There has been no attempt by the NSW Government to shut down your organisation, it has simply determined that the name of your organisation is deceptive and needs to change. They did however, point out again that the information you disseminate is not accurate, and they did suggest very strongly that you stop disseminating misinformation, but again that cannot be considered an attempt to shut your organisation down. I note that your automatic and constant response to anything is to blame the SAVN (Stop the Anti Vaccination Network) and skeptics, I have not once seen you address the issues raised. Indeed, in the letter you sent to the Fair Trading office when the issue of your organisations name was raised you didn't once address the issue of the name, you simply tried to blame the SAVN and asked what would have been considered by any reasonable person to be a smart alec question about your organisations name. I would suggest that the Fair Trading office has to operate under the law as set, and had you supplied them with a valid reason to not change the name, the order would not have been issued.
The High Court upheld the right to free communication in this country with regards to POLITICS Meryl, not with regards to the dissemination of misinformation on a subject that puts lives at risk. I note that during your high court appeal and at other times you have presented yourself as a 'political organisation', but that puts your organisation at odds with the charity legislation which requires you to not be a political organisation in order to have fund raising status.
Your opinion on what we should and shouldn't do in a democracy is noted, however I absolutely disagree. A charitable organisation, and an organisation that deals with health care issues most definitely should not be allowed to hide behind a deceptive name. There is no question that your organisation is anti-vaccination, it is clearly shown on your website, your alternate website, your facebook page and it was determined in the High Court of Australia this year. Accordingly, I believe the government is doing the right thing in ordering you to change your name.
And as a personal opinion, hiding an anti vaccination organisation behind the name Australian vaccination network is obscene.