Qld Health proceedings against Qld doctors

Media Release
1 April 2014

Community group condemns Qld Health legal proceedings

The Cloudland Collective has labelled the Queensland government’s commencement of proceedings for an injunction against the AMA, ASMOFQ and Together Qld as objectionable.

This morning Cloudland Collective spokesperson, Greg Brown stated: “Queensland Health’s attempt to constrain the ability of the AMA and ASMOFQ to talk with their members is an attack upon liberties foundational to Australian democracy.”

“The right to political communication underpins human rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of association.”

Mr Brown said: “The use of Australian Consumer Law to gag doctors’ associations and unions from talking to their members about crucial issues affecting their members’ interests and patient care, is both regrettable and extraordinary.”

Mr Brown said: “It appears to be lost on the minister that the protection of human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of association is embraced by the rule of law.”[1]

“It is recognised in instruments as fundamental as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the protection of human rights by the rule of law is a bulwark against tyranny and oppression.”

Mr Brown said: “We stand by the words uttered by Tony Fitzgerald QC following his inquiry into another authoritarian LNP government. Fitzgerald said: ‘The use of public resources at any time or in any way to inhibit or suppress the expression of opposing political opinion or a criticism of any administration is wholly objectionable.”[2]

The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.’ Article 19 upholds the right to freedom of expression and Article 20 the right to freedom of association.

Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights upholds the right to freedom of expression and Article 22 protects the freedom of association. These human rights are subject only to restrictions that are provided by law and are necessary for the rights or reputations of others or the protection of national security, public order, public health or morals.

The application is set to be heard in the Federal Court on 6 May.

“We call on the LNP to put their dogmatic adherence to neo-liberalism aside in the interests of patient care, and we strongly urge Queensland Health to seek a discontinuance in the legal proceedings” said Mr Brown.

Media comment

For further media comment contact The Cloudland Collective at cloudland_collective or phone Mr Greg Brown on 0409 877 528.

The Cloudland Collective

The Cloudland Collective stands for broad action and community campaigning in defence of jobs, services and civil liberties. The Cloudland Collective is organising a series of forums about the free market and the need to defend civil liberties, in the run up to next year’s G20 summit. You can find The Cloudland Collective at https://www.facebook.com/TheCloudlandCollective.

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