Independent Candidate for the Federal seat of Groom.
All content authorised by S.Holt Toowoomba
Over the last few months Suzie Holt’s campaign has received many questions about mandates and covid vaccination. The extremely divisive nature of this issue was evident at the Meet the Candidates forum held at Club Toowoomba on Friday 29th April, 2022 at which Ms Holt was one of only four of the eight candidates for the seat of Groom who turned up.
“For me, the issue of mandates has never been a simple one because it impacts people’s most deeply held beliefs. Tensions are further exacerbated when governments don’t provide certainty or could be seen to be playing politics.
As a social worker who has worked within the health system, I see the need to trust science and protect the most vulnerable members in our community but I recognize that Government decisions have often seemed arbitrary. They have affected our business community and individuals without any mechanism for people to feel heard or consulted. Benefits for the community have not always been explained clearly.
The delayed Federal government vaccine rollout did not inspire confidence, especially the degree to which it let the media lead the story about vaccine safety. This particularly impacted those whose employment requires them to be vaccinated under the current mandates.
Other policy failings have exacerbated these issues. The GP shortage in our community is one example. Those hesitant about being vaccinated have lacked a trusted source of reliable information because they may not have a regular GP who they know well and feel they can trust. This is yet another reason why we need our next Federal government to focus on policies that help communities who are often forgotten, especially in regional Australia.
I appreciate the difficulty of governing during a pandemic, and there was a need to put measures in place to ensure that people were protected. Vaccine mandates have been embedded in the health and aged care industries for many years. With the current high vaccination rates, it now makes sense to review employment vaccine requirements in non-health related industries.
I will always trust in science and be committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community. In my consultation with the disability community, there has been a lot of concern about the effects of covid, especially long covid. The people most impacted by the pandemic need to be at the front of our minds, including people living with a disability, the immunocompromised, and those living in aged care.
Not everyone agreed with me at the forum, but I am proud to be one of the few candidates committed to attending every forum. I heard from many people that while they don’t expect government or their representatives to always agree with them, they believe there should be mechanisms in place for issues to be reviewed and for their voices to be heard and respected. I agree, and this is especially true in a rapidly evolving situation like a pandemic.
As a candidate and if elected as the Member for Groom it is my role to consult with our community, consider everyone’s interests, and find the best possible solutions.”