Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service Katarina Carroll has found herself in hot water.
At least thirty police officers have joined together to bring a legal challenge against the Commissioner's vaccine mandate for all staff and officers in the force.
A crowdfunding page has been set up to support their case which has attracted over $27,000 from 377 donors.
They make it very clear that they are neither pro nor anti-vax, but rather strongly in favour of having a genuine choice over their health, free from the threat of losing their jobs.
“We are not pro- or anti- the vaccine. This is not a pro- or anti- vaccine matter.”
The page goes on to discuss the validity of mandatory vaccination in the workplace.
“We consider it to be the case that a mandatory vaccination policy at the initiative of an employer is incompatible with our workplace rights as employees and infringes upon our rights to freedom and informed consent to a medical procedure.”
The creep toward mandatory vaccination for police has been coming for some time, with border-cross officers being forced to resign or take desk duties if they failed to comply with vaccination requirements.
At the beginning of September, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) issued an order to make Covid vaccination a requirement for every member of staff.
Officers and employees have been given until October 4 to get their first vaccination and January 23 for their second. It is unclear what the regulations are regarding booster shots.
Commissioner Carroll has made public statements supporting the push for mandatory vaccination, saying that a fully vaccinate population was the best protection against the virus.
“While we respect individual choice and we will engage closely with our members as we implement the directive, our overwhelming obligation is to ensure we have safe workplaces and a safe community,” said Commissioner Carroll.
‘Mandatory’ and ‘individual choice’ are mutually exclusive conditions when it comes to employment.
Only officers who are legally exempt from the mandate (which usually means those with a medical exemption) will be required to wear masks.
Instead of taking the concerns of the group seriously, Commissioner Carroll has said that she is aware of their existence and was investigating the fundraising activity for potential police misconduct.
The group is challenging a whether or not the Commissioner's mandate is lawful.