FEDERAL Mallee member Anne Webster has launched a petition against Victoria's policy of mandatory vaccinations for authorised workers.
The petition calls for the reversal of the rule requiring all essential workers in Victoria to have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by October 15.
Dr Webster called the requirement an "overreach" from Premier Daniel Andrews and said the new policy was too coercive.
"While vaccination remains the safest and most important means for Australians to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, I cannot support the Premier's overreach on Victorians. Using coercive tactics and the threat of economic insecurity is wrong," she said.
"Mr Andrews has crossed an important line. Where the Victorian government should be encouraging vaccinations, he has begun coercing the public with an economic exclusion notice.
"The Premier needs to explain how this mandate is proportionate to the risk of COVID, especially given the pace of the voluntary roll-out in Victoria."
The petition has received criticism from Dr Webster's state counterpart in Mildura, Ali Cupper, who said the petition was "irresponsible".
State Mallee member Emma Kealy has also come out against the authorised vaccine mandate, calling the decision "desperate and illogical".
"This is just another bizarre knee-jerk response from a Government grasping at straws while Melbourne's COVID outbreak descends further into chaos," she said.
"Regional Victorians need certainty, we need a way forward that supports our communities to reopen, rebuild and recover.
"There are enough great reasons to get vaccinated, and most of our community has chosen to get vaccinated.
"Imposing a mandate is more likely to turn people off getting vaccinated, because they simply don't trust Daniel Andrews."
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