Nothing else perhaps shows how low the bar of liberty in Australia has fallen than that we’re supposed to be cock-a-whoop at NSW Dominic Perrottet’s latest announcement.

“At last, Fortress Australia has been breached!” crows The Australian. “NSW to scrap quarantine for international arrivals” says the ABC.

Except that there’s a bit of a catch:

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that home and hotel quarantine will be scrapped for fully-vaccinated travellers from November 1. The government has also announced that travel to regional areas will be delayed until the same date amid concerns about vaccination rates in those areas […]

Travellers who are fully-immunised with a TGA-approved vaccine will need only to demonstrate proof of their immunisation and a negative Covid-19 test before their flight in order to enter the state.

So, vaccine passports it is, then.

Is this really the best we can hope for, in Australia, in 2021? Apparently so.

Still, at least it’s a start — and a clear challenge to the likes of WA, Queensland and Tasmania, whose premiers are adamant that their states will remain enclosed within rings of steel.

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said much lower levels of hotel quarantine will be maintained to cater for unvaccinated travellers. He said quarantine caps would be maintained at 210 people per week […]

The NSW Government had previously flagged an end to hotel quarantine by Christmas but officials said they had brought forward the date to November due to soaring vaccination rates across the state.

There’s also this important little caveat buried in the story:

Mr Ayres recently initiated a trial of home quarantine services for vaccinated arrivals but he said on Friday that the trial, while effective, was resource intensive and difficult to justify in an environment of high vaccination coverage.

The Australian

This is a clear swipe at the Orwellian snitch apps being trialled by South Australia and other states, which use geolocation and facial recognition to track home quarantinees’ every move. “Difficult to justify” is a mild way of describing them.

The same applies in spades to vaccine passports.

Hopefully, Perrottet’s latest moves are just the beginning. The new premier has already declared that NSW will lift restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, from 1 December. So, the vaxholes will have a scant month to glory in their smug superiority.

Well, it’s not much, but I guess we’ll have to take this baby step as some kind of positive. After all, history shows that the most dangerous time for authoritarian regimes is when they first lift the bootheel just a little. Given a taste of freedom, citizens quickly and loudly demand more — and the dictator falls.

Hopefully, NSW will prove to be just the pebble that starts the avalanche that sweeps away Australia’s covid dictators.

Daniel Andrews is using the Wuhan plague to plunge Victoria into a police state. The BFD. Photoshop: Lushington Brady

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Baby Steps for Liberty in Australia

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...