REVEALED: Which Byron Shire councillors aren't pro-vax
IN LIGHT of Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters' call for Byron Council to cancel a high profile anti-vax proponent's event at Mullumbimby Hall last night, The Northern Star asked each councillor to reveal their position on vaccination.
Cr Basil Cameron, Cate Coorey, Jan Hackett, Paul Spooner and Alan Hunter said they were "pro-vaccination" while Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said he vaccinated his kids.
Cr Spooner said he would have made an attempt to stop last night's event, if he knew about it earlier.
"I was quite concerned that council had let out the Mullumbimby Civic Hall to David Wolfe because I think it's quite irresponsible.
"By not vaccinating, we're really opening the door to illnesses that have caused a lot of death in the past and I think this generation has forgotten that."
Cr Michael Lyon said he was "pro-choice".
"I don't believe in forced vaccination," Cr Lyon said.
"(The Mullumbimby Civic Hall) is not council-funded.
"It's run by the council, but the council does not subsidise it.
"I don't think we're saying we support anti-vaccination if we're letting the hall, that is a long bow to draw."
Cr Spooner said that response was a "cop out": "It's a council facility, the council has put a board in place and and recently put in air condition."
Cr Jeannette Martin said she supported David Wolfe's visit and she was concerned about the Federal Government's move towards increasing vaccination rates through the newly announced No Jab, No Play program.
"Noone was forced to go (to David Wolfe's talk). I am pro choice," Cr Martin said.
"I think there's a lot of research coming out that makes the (vaccination) program questionable and if we follow the money the people who are doing well are the pharmaceutical companies.
"I have concerns about the extent of the program and have extreme concerns about forcing vaccinations.
" I think people need to do their own research."
Cr Sarah Ndiaye said "I don't want to comment".
Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters have called for stronger support of vaccination from all levels of government to address rates as low as 50% in some Byron Shire regions.