NSW Liberal MP criticised after speaking at anti-vaccination rally

The New South Wales Liberal MP Tanya Davies has hit out at her government over its Covid vaccination mandates for the public sector, claiming she has been working with the premier, Dominic Perrottet, to end them and get people back into jobs.

Speaking at an anti-vaccination rally outside parliament on Tuesday, the former minister said she was “dismayed” when her government introduced the measure and called for a return to “freedom”.

“It’s been now nearly six months that he’s been premier and I’m now saying: ‘Alright, you’ve had six months, now’s the time to take the stand and lead this NSW community out of this Covid-fear panic’,” she said.

“Give us back our freedoms to go and earn an income.

“I have been working with the new premier and his office … to give him a chance to actually get more evidence to say that Covid is not the deadly disease that is going to eradicate millions of people in Australia.”

The opposition leader, Chris Minns, called on the premier to pull Davies into line, saying her attendance at a rally – where other speakers claimed there were “pedophiles in the parliament” and “9/11 [was an] inside job” – was not appropriate.

Minns said Perrottet needed to “take action”.

“It needs to be told for what it is: dangerous misinformation that spreads around the community and undermines community confidence, confidence in important public health messages,” he said.

The premier, who was on leave after the birth of his seventh child, had been contacted for comment.

Davies was promoted to parliamentary secretary for planning under the premier’s most recent cabinet shuffle. She has previously been minister for women, ageing and for mental health, and has been the member for Mulgoa since 2011.

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She told Tuesday’s protest she believed that Covid was real, but that it did not require a vaccination mandate now that everyone had been offered a jab.

“There is no reason any more for this heavy-handed approach, this segregation approach, this two-tiered society,” she said.

“End it now and let’s move on.”

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Davies also took aim at the prime minister, Scott Morrison, arguing the Liberal party stood for personal freedom and responsibility.

“Prime minister Scott Morrison declared two weeks ago we are now living with Covid. We are not living with Covid if people are not allowed and permitted to work,” she said.

The crowd chanted “sack them all” as Davies finished her lengthy midday speech.

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