Below is the letter I wrote to my mayor, councillors and QLD parliament representative.
My family and I have lived in Noosa for over 5 years now. My partner operates a small business, we are active members of our community, we pay taxes and we pay rates.
It is with a heavy heart that I write these words.
My pain is great as I am witnessing, MY Council, actively promoting segregation within its community.
Since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions to the area, on 17 December 2021, I am to be refused services and turned away from businesses, and a number of public facilities as a result of not wanting to share my private medical information (as is my right).
The medical procedures I consent to undertake are no one’s business other than mine and my physician’s. To be discriminated against, for refusing to show evidence of having undertaken a medical procedure is utterly insane. Insane!
As a rate payer, I expect to be able to use the facilities that my regular rate contributions have funded.
If I am to be denied access to these facilities, I will be ceasing to pay the rates for my property addressed XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, until such time as these services are restored.
As a Noosa resident, I expect small local businesses to thrive, not to die because they’re turning away people who wish to protect their privacy. (my partner’s business is one of many which have suffered by being denied the right to work, and without compensation – that has challenged our ability to meet our responsibilities towards our children).
As a Noosa elector, I expect the elected to make a clear public position of where they stand, be that where it may.
On that note, though action is still essential and required, I commend Sandy Bolton on her words:
- 17 November 2021: https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/speeches/spk2021/Sandy_Bolton-Noosa-20211117-006399637844.pdf
- 2 December 2021: https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/speeches/spk2021/Sandy_Bolton-Noosa-20211202-417167247100.pdf
It is my understanding that:
- no one is required to disclose their personal medical information to anyone, unless they provide consent and a health service is being provided (Privacy Act 1988);
- I have a legally protected right to keep all my personal medical information private;
- Federal Legislation always prevails to the extent that there is any inconsistency between State and Federal laws;
- “orders”, “directions” or “mandates” are not “laws” and that even if these documents do require people to provide their private medical information as a condition of entry, the Privacy Act 1988 would make such a requirement unlawful.
Having said all that, I am not a lawyer.
What I am is a sovereign human being, who doesn’t need to be versed in the nitty-gritty of the law to know the difference between right and wrong.
Knowing that difference is a skill, innate to each and every one of us; my children have it, same way you do.
At some level, you do know that what you are actively encouraging in our home is wrong.
I ask you:
- What, exactly, is stopping you from refusing to comply with State’s inhumane and discriminatory directions/orders/mandates?
Please explain it to me, precisely.
- What mental gymnastics does one need to engage in, to label discrimination and segregation as “the right thing to do”?
If you can indicate an historical example of when the party endorsing such measures turned out to be on the right side, I welcome it.
I understand that other Queensland councils (Mackay, Whitsundays, Fraser Coast and Livingstone Shire) have made public statements to the fact that they will not be refusing entry to council run amenities because they understand these venues are paid for by the community.
I’m confident that Noosa, being indeed different by nature, would go further than any others and, in such a statement, include strong words protecting small businesses from having to ask patrons to see their “papers”.
In Sandy’s words: “provide a guarantee to our businesses that any costs in defending court action because of any mandates will be covered by government”.
A moral, ethical and brave local government, I would add.
I have no doubt that this initiative would gain immense support within our community, no doubt at all.
To hide behind words as mandates/orders/directions, barked from a bigger dog, without baring your own teeth and exercising your discretion to do what you know to be right, is just cowardice (or worse).
Stop being complicit in crimes against those who chose you to represent them. Make a stand for what you know is the moral, ethical and humane thing to do, do your bloody duty!
If Council does not support segregation, then put out a press release, in no unclear terms, saying so.
If Council does support it, then the message you’ve been sending does indeed match your intentions.
History will judge you but well before that, Noosa will.
I welcome a response from you. Thank you.
I would like to reiterate that I will be withholding my property rates until I can fully utilise the amenities I am paying for.
Kind, Warm and Hopeful Regards,
P.S. I would also ask that Noosa Council’s YouTube channel has its comments turned on. I would like to express my thoughts on your singing :)”