About 500 anti-vax-mandate advocates demand the City of Busselton declare itself 'pro-choice' | Video

About 500 people on Monday demanded the City of Busselton declare itself a 'Pro-Choice Community' and ask Premier Mark McGowan to drop all vaccine mandates.

Mayor Grant Henley and nearly all city councilors met with anti-mandate advocates at Churchill Park, after a petition to hold the special electors meeting to discuss vaccine mandates gained more than 100 signatures.

Hundreds of anti-mandate proponents gathered at the Special Electors Meeting in Busselton. Picture: Brianna Melville.

Hundreds of anti-mandate proponents gathered at the Special Electors Meeting in Busselton. Picture: Brianna Melville.

While the City of Busselton was required to hold the meeting, Mayor Grant Henley has stressed that vaccination mandates come under state government authority.

Putting forward a series of motions, speakers from the anti-mandate group demanded the City declare itself 'pro-choice', request the state government to revoke all mandates and advise the Premier and State Parliament about their concerns.

Speakers asked Busselton councillors to support their motion to declare Busselton a 'Pro-Choice community'. Picture: Brianna Melville

Speakers asked Busselton councillors to support their motion to declare Busselton a 'Pro-Choice community'. Picture: Brianna Melville

These concerns included that vaccination mandates were harmful to businesses and workplace health and safety.

They also requested that councillors and the City chief executive acknowledge the potential "financial risks" of the vaccination mandates to City ratepayers.

The group asked the City to prepare a report on the "detrimental effects" of the vaccination mandate in Busselton, and present it to the state government.

They also asked that the City provide clarity to businesses on whether they would be liable for "manslaughter" and other charges if an employee had an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination.

Further, they asked for clarity on the "overreach" of vaccination requirements, suggesting that current requirements went further than official health advice.

Speakers also raised concern that unvaccinated people would be barred from entering Busselton's Performing Arts and Convention Centre, which was currently being constructed.

About 500 people turned out to a Special Electors Meeting to discuss the effects of the vaccination mandate in Busselton. Picture: Brianna Melville.

About 500 people turned out to a Special Electors Meeting to discuss the effects of the vaccination mandate in Busselton. Picture: Brianna Melville.

One speaker addressing the council said COVID-19 vaccines were an "experimental treatment" and claimed that natural immune systems were effective enough to fight the virus.

Another speaker spoke of the alleged use of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin in other countries, and asked why it hadn't been approved in Australia.

The motions were put to vote by raising hands, and all of them were passed by the group of electors.

Councillors refrained from voting either way, so that they would not be prejudiced when they later voted on the motions at the council meeting.

Mayor Grant Henley and other City of Busselton councillors heard grievances from the community over the vaccine mandate. Picture: Brianna Melville.

Mayor Grant Henley and other City of Busselton councillors heard grievances from the community over the vaccine mandate. Picture: Brianna Melville.

Mayor Grant Henley said the council would vote on the proposed motions at an upcoming council meeting, with the possibility that not all motions would be put to the council at the same time, due to time constraints.

While the Mayor previously shared concerns the meeting could be used as a rallying event for anti-vaxxers, he said the group at the meeting were "'respectful".

Busselton Police Senior Sergeant James Bradley said that while police were present, the event was not an overwhelming drain on resources.

The special electors meeting in Busselton comes after the Shire of Esperance heard similar demands at an annual electors meeting on February 8.

A group of anti-mandate proponents requested the City of Busselton oppose the state government's vaccination mandate. Picture: Brianna Melville.

A group of anti-mandate proponents requested the City of Busselton oppose the state government's vaccination mandate. Picture: Brianna Melville.

The shire will vote on Tuesday February 22, on whether it will declare Esperance a 'Pro-Choice community' and oppose vaccine mandates.

In January, the City of Fremantle also received a petition to advocate against the state government's COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but the council chose not to support the request. Mandurah council received a similar petition last week.