Anti-vaccine billboards in Carlisle to be removed

Photo: Jon Hewson
Photo: Jon Hewson

ANTI-VACCINATION billboards sharing “dangerous and misleading” information that were placed in the Town of Victoria Park without approval will be removed following community outrage.

The two large billboards asking ‘Do you know what’s in a vaccine?’ appeared on a building opposite a day care centre in Carlisle this month after a similar poster was put in Perth’s CBD just months ago.

The billboard in the Town of Vincent, funded by members of the Allona Fit to Parent Network, caused uproar within the community and was vandalised before local government and the building owner had it removed.

MORE: Perth academic denies controversial billboard is anti-vax

All three advertisements have shown a woman leaning on a stack of books and provide a link to the US anti-vaccination group Learn The Risk.

The website states that the organisation is “a powerful force for educating people worldwide on the dangers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and unnecessary medical treatments — that are literally killing us”.

In a press conference addressing the two new billboards, Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA president Dr Omar Khorshid said it was disappointing another anti-vaccination message had appeared on Perth streets and called on local and state government to have them removed.

“It’s time the local government and the Health Minister do the right thing and make sure that we can get rid of these dangerous messages that spread lies and misinformation,” he said.

“This is a call on Roger Cook to show some strong leadership and make sure that the legislative power is there to do the right thing and protect the vulnerable in our community from lies and misinformation.

“The real worry is that we’re going to see messages like this popping up everywhere.”

In a Facebook post, the Town of Victoria Park said the “signage” had not received planning approval and the building owner would be instructed to have them removed within 14 days.

Photo: Jon Hewson

“The signs are considered third-party signage which is generally not supported by the Town’s Signs Local Law, so even if they had applied for approval it is unlikely they would have been approved,” the post read.

In a media statement released after Dr Korshid’s remarks, the State Government referred to the information on the US site that the billboards promote to be “dangerous and misleading”.

Mr Cook said it was bitterly disappointing that community members would spread misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccinations in an attempt to scare people into not vaccinating their children, or themselves.

“Vaccination saves people’s lives and keeps vulnerable community members, who cannot get vaccinated due to medical conditions or their age (very young infants), safe from disease,” he said.

“I am calling on local governments and outdoor advertising companies, to take action and get these billboards, which direct people to websites that pedal lies and misinformation, off our streets.

“Further, I appeal for all Western Australians to ignore these dangerous and misleading billboards and seek credible advice from their GP on the importance of vaccinations. Immunisation against these preventable diseases could save the life of you and your children.”