This loophole has got to be closed. Now.
The time has come to stop pussyfooting around. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids are letting diseases like whooping cough and measles spread through the community. Children die because of their choices.
So why is the Government paying them money to do it?
Back in 2012, the Government decided to link family tax benefits and childcare subsidies to vaccination. You immunise your kids, you make the community healthier, you get rewarded with taxpayer money. Good idea.
Unfortunately, the Government left a loophole in the law. Parents could fill in a form saying they had a “personal, philosophical, religious or medical” objection to vaccination, and still get the benefits.
The number of children whose parents claim this kind of objection to vaccination has doubled over the past decade. That figure now is just under 40,000.
A medical objection to vaccination is totally legitimate. But a "personal" or "philosophical" objection... what does that even mean?
That they think vaccines are going to give their kids autism? Bullshit.
That they think vaccines are part of some huge conspiracy involving governments and pharmaceutical companies? Bullshit.
That they think kids nowadays don't need vaccines because standards of nutrition and sanitation are higher than they used to be? Bullshit.
The reason so few kids in Australia die of preventable diseases is that immunisation levels are high. As soon as immunisation levels drop low enough, these diseases start to come back. It's not just the children of "conscientious objectors" who are at risk of getting sick and dying. It's children who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons. It's babies who are too young to be vaccinated.