Mandatory Disease Testing Passes

Mandatory Disease Testing Passes

Unfortunately, with the support of the coalition Government and Labor Opposition the mandatory disease testing bill has now passed the Parliament.

Along with Greens MPs and other Independents I strongly opposed it, and successfully amended it to include Ombudsman oversight and the bill not being able to commence until Chief Health Officer guidelines are in place. I negotiated directly with the NSW Police Commissioner for police to be trained on these guidelines.

Despite the improvements I fought hard for, the new powers remain problematic as they foster stigma and discrimination of people who live with blood-borne diseases. Blood tests will be able to be used as a punishment for actions like spitting even when transmission of HIV or hepatitis are not possible. Even when blood has been transferred, frontline workers will still need to wait the same period of time to test themselves because negative tests may indicate low viral loads and positive tests do not confirm transmission.

I am committed to working to repeal these laws if any of the new powers are weaponised as a form of extrajudicial punishment. My speech: > HERE.  

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!