The First NSW Senate Ballot Paper Spot Has Gone To A Party Questioning Vaccines

Yes, this is a public service announcement for donkey voters.

11/06/2016 10:38 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
Fairfax: Aaron Sawall
If you live in New South Wales, there's a few things you should know before July 2.

July 2 is fast approaching and many Aussies are still unsure who they will vote for. But anyone in New South Wales considering signing away a donkey vote this coming election should be aware of the Health Australia Party's political stance before they get to the ballot box.

Why? Well, the Health Australia Party just secured the number one spot on the NSW Senate ballot paper. The Health Australia Party was also first registered as the Natural Medicine Party. The Health Australia Party -- whose name may be slightly deceiving -- also questions vaccinations and is anti-fluoride. Homeschooling and home-birthing are other initiatives the party champions.

According to the party's crowdfunding page, it has been created to fight the "well-funded, sustained and coordinated attacks on natural medicine by vested interests in Australia".

First, let us explain how this party secured the number one spot on the Senate ballot paper -- and then we'll get back to some of the Health Australia Party's views.

Every election, the following day after candidate nominations close, an Australia Electoral Commission (AEC) employee is blindfolded and, for each party, picks a numbered ball out of a barrel which allocates positions from left to right on the ballot paper. They do this for each state and territory.

Some interesting allocations across the nation include the Liberal Democrats securing a more favourable position than the Coalition in New South Wales. Last election, there was confusion between these two parties for many voters due to their similar names. And in Tasmania, the Jacqui Lambie Network has secured "lucky" number 13. Or not so lucky?

But back to the Health Australia Party. Here are some of the party's claims and views which donkey voters should be aware of before signing away their vote to the first box out of ease. (Yes, this does happen.)

The party is against the 'no jab, no pay' legislation. Opposing legislation making vaccinations compulsory for parents claiming childcare repayments from the government, the Health Australia Party blamed pharmaceutical companies for not being transparent about vaccinations and criticised pro-vaccination media bias.

Health Australia Party member Jason Woodforth, who is a former LNP member, said the party encourages an open debate about vaccinations but claims the party is not anti-vax.

The party is anti-fluoride. In a policy statement, the Health Australia Party wrote it "believes that sodium fluoride, hydrofluorosilic acid and other chemical products called 'fluoride' are toxic chemical waste products that are classified as class 6 poisons and should not be placed into public water supplies."

"Medicating a population through the water supply is in breach of accepted medical ethical codes as there is neither informed consent, nor the ability to opt out."

The party has also hinted chiropractic treatment can help babies with colic.

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