South Australian Senator Alex Antic today became the second Federal Coalition Senator to issue Prime Minister Scott Morrison an ultimatum on vaccine mandates.
Earlier this afternoon, Senator Antic announced via his official Facebook account that he has decided to follow the lead of his colleague Senator Gerard Rennick and withhold his vote in the Senate until Australians are properly protected from medical discrimination.
“This week I have indicated my intention to follow the lead of Senator Gerard Rennick and withhold my vote in the Senate until Australians are given protection from discrimination based upon their vaccine status and personal choice to refuse a vaccine,” his announcement reads.
In recent weeks, Senator Rennick has used his own official Facebook profile to highlight the stories of Australians who have suffered adverse events following a COVID-19 vaccination. He has called on the Prime Minister to open state borders, end vaccine mandates, and put in place a fit and proper compensation scheme for those injured.
Alex Antic’s announcement today comes just weeks ahead of South Australia’s borders opening to other states. South Australia is all but certain to follow the lead of NSW, Victoria and Queensland in discriminating against unvaccinated citizens by barring them from cafes, restaurants, public venues, sporting events and more.
Thousands of South Australians across many industries have already been forced to decide between vaccination and their job.
“Australians deserve the freedom to choose their own medical treatment and way of life,” Senator Antic wrote. “It is not reasonable for Australians to be discriminated against based on their decision to submit (or otherwise) to a medical procedure.”
The Liberal-National Coalition holds a 10-seat edge over Labor in the Senate, though this gap closes to just one when Greens Party senators vote with the ALP.
In order to pass legislation through the Senate, the Morrison Government generally relies on the vote of every Coalition senator, and must also win enough support from the five remaining cross-benchers.
Two Senate cross-benchers are with One Nation, a minor party that has also come out strongly against the vaccination mandates.
Senator Antic’s decision today therefore renders it near impossible for the Morrison Government to achieve any legislative progress before next year’s election.
More to follow.
Image via Adelaide Now.