Australian Senate votes down excess death probe, again
This is the third time the Senate has voted against inquiring into Australia's excess mortality
The Australian Senate voted against an inquiry into the causes of the nation’s high excess mortality today. This is the third time the Senate has voted against investigating excess deaths, after rejecting two previous motions last year.
Australia has recorded more deaths than expected in the past several years, with some states experiencing up to 17% excess mortality. This trend is ongoing, with the latest reporting from the ABS estimating 12,377 excess deaths for the first three quarters of 2023, 9.9% above the expected baseline.
Australia’s peak actuarial body, The Actuaries Institute, attributes many of these excess deaths to Covid. This is contested, but even so, at least half of Australia’s excess mortality remains unexplained.
Earlier today, Senator Ralph Babet, of the United Australia Party, tabled a motion proposing that the issue of excess mortality in Australia be referred to a Committee for an inquiry and report.
The Noes had it 35:30, with Labour, the Greens, the Jacqui Lambie Network and independent Lydia Thorpe all voting to reject the motion.
The Liberals, the Nationals, the Country Liberal Party, the United Australia Party, One Nation and independent David Pocock voted in favour of the motion.
Senator Babet has previously tabled two unsuccessful motions to generate inquiry into Australia’s excess deaths, both on 23 March 2023 (see Hansard record here).
One motion that proposed the formation of a dedicated Committee garnered only four votes in favour (Ralph Babet, One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts, and Liberal Alex Antic, who crossed the floor). A second motion proposing a parliamentary debate on excess mortality was narrowly defeated 30:29.
Today’s motion differed in that it proposed that the matter of excess mortality be referred to the already existing Community Affairs References Committee for further investigation.
Labour Senator Katy Gallagher, who represents the Health portfolio in the Senate, stated prior to the vote,
“The Government does not support this motion. The ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics] is the definitive authority of mortality statistics and data in Australia and provides regular publications… This data is published online and available to everyone.”
This is accurate. However, the ABS does not speculate as to why more Australians are dying of certain illnesses at greater or lesser rates.
Seeking an answer to this question, the Australian Medical Professionals Society initiated its own investigation last year into Australia’s excess mortality. Every federal politician was invited to attend a presentation in Canberra, and the inquiry’s findings were published in a book, ‘Too Many Dead: An Inquiry into Australia's Excess Mortality,’ which was also distributed to federal politicians.
AMPS Secretary Kara Thomas says of today’s vote, “It is devastating to see the government again vote against finding out what is causing Australia’s sustained excess mortality, but we are glad to see the Coalition have been receptive to the AMPS Inquiry’s findings, and that they are interested in pursuing further investigation.”
The AMPS book focuses particularly on the evidence for iatrogenesis (i.e.: harms inflicted by Australia’s medical response to Covid) and failures in pharmacovigilance.
Additionally, in submissions to an inquiry into Terms of Reference for a Covid Royal Commission, experts including economists, legal advocates and mental health professionals highlighted the potential for harms to health arising from other Covid policies, including lockdowns, isolation, loss of employment, loss of autonomy and increased stress.
Speaking in support of the AMPS independent inquiry last year, Senator Babet stated, “We are seeing too many excess, unexplained deaths in our nation every month. This is a matter of life and death and should be our top priority.”
In 2020, the people in charge shut the country down to save lives. Every single Covid-related death was meticulously documented in regular reports produced by state and territory health departments, and announced by Premiers in regular press briefings. TV news stations ran ticker counts.
Yet for the thousands of Australians who have since died unexpectedly for unknown reasons, the people in charge have shown little concern or motivation to investigate.
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