So tennis World No.1 Novak Djokovic, has just failed in his court attempt to over turn the Federal Government’s second cancellation of his visa. He will now be deported.
I have oscillated between being against him being allowed in Australia and then being against his deportation.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke, made the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa because his “presence in Australia may pose a health risk to the Australia community, in that his presence in Australia may foster anti-vaccination sentiment leading to:-
(a) other unvaccinated persons refusing to become vaccinated, and/or
(b) other unvaccinated persons being reinforced in their existing view not to become vaccinated, and/or
(c) a reduction in the uptake of booster vaccines.
In court today the Federal Government’s lawyer said:- Obviously, the Minister was aware his decision to cancel the visa would result in further unrest…But the Minister was principally concerned that Mr Djokovic’s presence would encourage others to emulate his position and would put Australians at risk. (end quote)
Here is my concern. Djokovic, is not being deported because his entry form may or may not have been wrong, nor is he being deported because he was not medically exempt from being vaccinated. He is being deported because his presence may incite civil unrest.
Now if we believe the Government, that Australians are almost 90% vaccinated, and let’s assume there are a few percent of the population who have a legitimate reason for not being vaccinated, this whole debacle is about a pretty small percentage of the Australian population.
And now that there has been a court ruling, there is a precedent, that ‘potentially inciting civil unrest’, even if just by your presence, has become punishable by deportation and who knows, what the punishment would be for Australian citizens. So effectively, we have taken another significant step away from being a free country, to one where the Government can potentially fine or lock up anyone, they deem to be not actually inciting civil unrest, but simply having the potential of inciting civil unrest.
That very well could be me.
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision the court made today about Djokovic, you should be concerned about the consequences for the broader population of Australia and our freedoms of expression.
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