After almost three years of intense public scrutiny the deceptively named Australian Vaccination Network is nearing the end. Back in December the NSW Department of Fair Trading ordered the organisation to change its name to something less deceptive due to concerns that parents might mistake the anti-vaccination pressure for a credible organisation.
Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts today confirmed a formal order has been issued to the Australian Vaccination Network to change its name on the grounds it is misleading the public.
Mr Roberts said Section 11 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 provides the Commissioner for Fair Trading may direct an association to adopt a new name, where the name of the association is unacceptable.
“NSW Fair Trading has received complaints that the Australian Vaccination Network’s name is confusing and has misled the public as to its operational intention,” Mr Roberts said. –NSW Fair Trading and Letter from Fair Trading to Ms Dorey. (Ms Dorey was president of the AVN at the time of the order.)
However as could have been predicted the AVN has so far failed to come up with an appropriate name. With five suggestions already being rejected:
AVN president Greg Beattie told News Limited it was vital the words Australia and Vaccination remained in the group’s name because they defined what the organisation was about.
He said the group had sent a letter to the Fair Trading Department to ask whether they would accept one of five suggested name changes.
These include Australian Vaccination Information Network and Australian Vaccination Choice.
“We can’t just change our name under the Association’s Incorporation Act, we must go through a process of consulting with our members and we need a 75 per cent majority vote,” Mr Beattie said.
“We’ve had the name for 19 years, so we want as small a change as possible.” –Adelaide Now
The two known rejections are;
1. Australian Vaccination Information Network
2. Australian Vaccination Choice
What part of “Choose a lees deceptive name” do they fail to understand. It seems like a pretty simple request, but then this group is not known for its ability to grasp simple concepts. If Mr Beattie insists on keeping the words Australia and Vaccination in the name then I would recommend either Australian anti-Vaccination and Immunisation Network, or Australian Society for the Spreading of Vaccine Preventable Disease.
I anticipate that the AVN will fail to meet the required deadline and end up getting deregistered. When that happens we can probably expect a whole new torrent of abuse and conspiracy theories to spew forth from the usual suspects. After all this is a “charity” that likes to blame its critics, for everything.