The Australian Vaccination Network gave us an unexpected, but very welcomed gift on Christmas Day. At 9pm on the 25th they sent out an email announcing the cancellation of the High Court Challenge and that they were keeping the donated money.
The History of the High Court Challenge is a long one and one of the biggest fundraising scams the AVN has pulled to date. The scheme was hatched last year via the AVNs Newsletter.
The AVN has received initial written advice on fighting No Jab, No Pay, and at present we are seeking a barrister or QC who is able to give us an expanded broad-based advice on the potential for a High Court action to stop these discriminatory and potentially unconstitutional laws.
Again, when we call in the pledges next year, you will be asked to make good on your promise, so please don’t pledge more than you can afford, but if everyone who is receiving this information makes a pledge – no matter how small – we will be a power to be reckoned with.
High Court challenges do not come cheaply, and the total cost could and probably will exceed half a million dollars; but the potential benefits of taking this action are, to quote the MasterCard commercial – priceless.
-AVN Newsletter, 23 December 2015
So the usual patter of promises and begging for money begins. The AVN has been holding dodgy fundraising campaigns for over 20 years, no doubt they expected this one would be business as usual but this one has quite the fall out.
Just keeping you all in the loop, we have some excellent news on the legal front. The AVN has retained the services of a barrister to write a detailed opinion regarding the ways in which No Jab No Pay / No Play can be opposed through the court system. Since No Jab No Pay is Federal legislation, we feel that one of the best ways to oppose it is through a broad-based approach that includes taking a case to the High Court of Australia.
Since it looks like legal action may be impending on this matter, can we please ask that if you have not already pledged, you do so without delay?
Remember, we will not be calling in pledges for sponsorship for this court case unless we are given advice that there are strong legal grounds for opposing the legislation. But if we are given that advice, we will need to initiate proceedings quickly so we will be calling in pledges at that time. -AVN Newsletter, 6th Febuary 2016
In March the AVN began pushing its members to give money under the pretense that legal action against the governments No Jab No Pay legislation was imminent.
Finally in June it was announced that the legal team had been finalised and the case was moving forward to the High Court with a fearless band of lawyers..
This brings us to the Christmas Day announcement. I don’t know why they sent out a newsletter on Christmas, perhaps it was in the hope that fewer people would be paying attention at this time.
The AVN committee would like to sincerely thank you for your support of our High Court challenge against the tyrannical ‘No Jab, No Pay’ federal legislation. As you would be aware from previous communications, the AVN received preliminary advice from a barrister in March to the effect that we had potential grounds to mount a challenge to the constitutional validity of ‘No Jab, No Pay’. On the basis of this advice, we retained a legal firm and invited our members and supporters to sponsor the legal challenge. Our legal firm then retained the services of a leading SC (Senior Counsel) and barrister in the field of constitutional law and human rights. SC is the equivalent of Queen’s Counsel (QC). Unfortunately, having considered every possible avenue to challenge ‘No Jab, No Pay’ – including the possibility of challenging the Immunisation Register legislation – counsel has advised us not to proceed due to the poor chance of success and the high costs of a High Court challenge. As you may be aware, the Australian Constitution does not guarantee most of the rights and freedoms enjoyed by some other western democracies. Our constitution relies on the principle of representative democracy, which unfortunately, does not serve well the interests of unpopular minorities.
We were absolutely devastated when we received this advice as we wanted so much to believe that justice still exists in Australia. Our heart goes out to those parents most affected by this law. It’s difficult to imagine a more callous and inequitable piece of legislation; legislation which violates various fundamental rights, such as the rights of the child, the right to privacy and bodily autonomy, and the right to work.
However, we do not believe in quitting. We are fighters who never give up no matter how much the government and vested pharmaceutical interests want us to. There is simply too much at stake. This is your fight just as much as it is our fight, so we need your help to decide the best way forward. At the present time, we have removed the Sponsorship option from our website and shop page. We are also requesting that sponsors cancel any regular internet banking sponsorship that they have set up through their bank unless they would like to continue their support of the AVN. Thanks to their generosity, altogether we raised $152,203.73. The total cost of the AVN’s advice was $72,526.37.
These are the options as we see them:
- We can refund the balance of of each sponsor’s donation returned to them at $0.52 on the dollar (after deducting the costs the AVN paid for legal advice-on a pro-rata basis), which we are more than happy to do.
- We could use the donations on several “Plan B” options that we have been discussing with our solicitor. These options include investigating a range of alternative legal avenues by which to introduce much-needed transparency and accountability into Australia’s vaccine program. Currently, there is none. Vaccines are being licensed and recommended without sufficient evidence of effectiveness and/or safety. This needs to change. Australians are being maimed every year by vaccines which don’t even work.The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which licences vaccines, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which recommends vaccines, and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) which recommends taxpayer subsidisation of vaccines, need to be held to account once and for all for the harm they cause. The tort of misfeasance in public office may be one way to go about this. A far cheaper way would be to lobby our representatives for a Royal Commission into Vaccination. As you would know, the balance of power shifted in the Senate following the recent federal election, so there may be fresh opportunities in this respect which weren’t available to us last year.
- We could also use the donations to start the process of finally bringing together the people who could help start a retrospective fully vaccinated vs fully unvaccinated children’s long term health outcome study. Or help fund the real change that needs to happen in Australia, that is, education of members of the general public, most of whom are blindly following vaccine recommendations out of fear or deference to authority. To this end, we could bring top international experts to speak in Australia. We could also purchase advertising around Australia that promotes free and informed consent to vaccination.We also want to hear from you and welcome any other suggestions from our members or sponsors as to how the legal funds could be best utilised. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to share your ideas.
We will never give up this battle! We will not rest until your rights to choose how to prevent and treat an illness as well as your ability to decide how to raise your children (their diet, their education and their health) is guaranteed and protected in this previously great democracy of Australia. We are the AVN. We have been here for you for over 22 years and if it is within our power to do so, we will be here for you as long as you need us. Thank you again for standing with us!
Yours in health,
The AVN National Committee
This is where the fun begins and its the gift that keeps on giving. Over the past few years the anti-vaccination community has become increasingly bitter and divided and the once unquestionable AVN is now being scrutinized by anti-vaxxers. Something that would never have happened a few years ago.
When challenged over the claimed $72k legal expenses the AVN is refusing to answer the questions from their donors.
These comments have since been deleted from the AVNs Facebook page. However the anti-vaxxer infighting continues in other groups, again this type of criticism and in-fighting would not have happened a few years ago.
But that’s not the end of the AVNs trouble over their latest swindle. NSW Fair Trading is back with a new investigation into this sham association.
The Australian newspaper reports that NSW Fair Trading authorities will investigate the Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network (AVSN) for “potential breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act and the Associations Incorporation Act”.
On Christmas Day, the anti-vaccination group announced that it had called off its High Court attempt to overturn the federal government’s so-called “no jab, no pay” policy.
This means it would shelve the lawsuit after being advised by legal counsel that there was a “poor chance of success” and despite raising $152,000 from supporters to pay costs.
NSW Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello said the government took the potential breaches “very seriously”, according to The Australian. “NSW Fair Trading will review this matter to assess whether there have been any breaches of relevant legislation and regulations.” –Australian Skeptics
Next year should be an interesting one.