Pauline Hanson has clashed with a witness giving evidence to a senate inquiry into Covid-19 vaccination status.
Senator Hanson made the spirited comments while questioning NSW Civil Liberties Council president Josh Pallas about his organisation’s view on vaccines.
Mr Pallas had outlined that his organisation argued that governments should not mandate vaccines outside of settings where the risk of transmission was high, such as in healthcare settings.
He argued that the onus should be on individual businesses to decide whether employees should need to be vaccinated based on “their own circumstances” and whether unvaccinated staff would present a safety risk.
After Mr Pallas gave evidence, Senator Hanson demanded to know why he did not advocate against vaccine mandates
“You believe in people’s rights and you stand up on your part for people’s rights … why aren’t you fighting for people’s rights now?” she asked.
“Or if they don’t wish to have this vaccine, then isn’t it their right not to have the vaccine against their wishes?”
Mr Pallas argued there was a distinction between individuals making their own choices to get vaccinated “versus an employer compelling vaccination”.
He said there were no laws that would compel an employee to be vaccinated against their will and “that person can continue to refuse vaccination”.
“It may just mean in certain circumstances that they cannot be employed in a particular job now, there’s no automatic right of an individual to have X or Y job,” he said.
“We do believe that people are entitled to work, that does not follow that people are entitled to work in whatever job it is that they so desire regardless of any other consequences.”
Senator Hanson then asked if Mr Pallas supported individuals like “healthcare workers, teachers, firefighters … and those in the mining industry” losing their jobs over their decision to not be vaccinated.
“In those circumstances, Senator Hanson, yes,” Mr Pallas replied bluntly.
The senator then went into a line of questioning over whether Covid-19 vaccination “actually does work”, to which Mr Pallas said he relied on the advice from organisations such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration.