It's Brandivino all around at the anti-vaccination network

I really didn’t want to write this post. So much has been written about the remnants of the grubby little anti-vaccination cabal, the Australian Vaccination Network, in the last few days that I didn’t think it necessary to add anything.

As I wrote the other day the AVN had “surrendered” it’s Charitable Fundraising Authority. I couldn’t really say back then that the surrender was under duress, in the form of a show-cause letter from the NSW Minister for Liquor, Gaming and Racing. We were waiting for the press release so as to officially state that the show-cause was the reason for the AVN’s surrender. So, here it is; a triumvirate of glorious burn from no less than three government ministers:


Minister for Hospitality George Souris today warned the public not to make charitable donations to the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network Incorporated (AVSNI), formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network Incorporated (AVN), as it is no longer a registered charity.

Mr Souris said the association had surrendered its ‘Authority to Fundraise’ under the Charitable Fundraising Act following an investigation into its anti-vaccination activities by the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR).

“OLGR issued a ‘show cause’ notice to the association requiring it to respond in writing on why its Authority to Fundraise should not be revoked,” Mr Souris said.

“As a result, the association has now surrendered its Authority to Fundraise to OLGR effective immediately”.

Under the Charitable Fundraising Act, if an organisation intends to fundraise for a charitable purpose it must be the holder of an Authority to Fundraise.

However, an Authority to Fundraise for a charitable purpose can be revoked if determined to be in the public interest. One of the objects of the Charitable Fundraising Act is to prevent deception of members of the public who desire to support worthy causes.

“OLGR’s investigation sourced expert medical evidence challenging the accuracy of information provided on the association’s website in relation to the risks and benefits of
vaccination,” Mr Souris said.

“The investigation highlighted a range of potential concerns, including risks arising from the association’s anti-vaccination advocacy and the potential for misinformation to influence important health decisions resulting in potentially adverse public health consequences.

“As the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network Incorporated does not hold an Authority to Fundraise from OLGR they can no longer fundraise for a charitable purpose”.

Minister for Fair Trading, Stuart Ayres, said the association recently changed its name, to the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network Incorporated, following a direction from Fair Trading and an Administrative Decisions Tribunal decision requiring it to adopt a name accurately reflecting its scepticism about vaccinations.

“I warn members of the public against making donations to this organisation.

“NSW Government agencies will continue to monitor the organisation’s activities to ensure it does not fundraise for a charitable purpose.”

Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said she is very proud of the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government’s commitment to childhood vaccination.

“On January 1 this year, new legislation came into effect to ensure no child can be enrolled at a child care facility unless the parent/guardian provides an official immunisation record which shows the child is fully immunised or has been granted an exemption after the parents/guardian have met with a GP or nurse immuniser.

“Our Government is determined to protect our children from the devastating consequences of vaccine-preventable disease.

“While NSW has a very high rate of vaccination among children, we will continue to do all we can to protect those children who remain unvaccinated.

“Forget the scaremongering – there is nothing to fear from vaccination,” Ms Skinner said

Ouch. So that explains why the AVN surrendered its CFA. Here is where we leave the real world.

At the AVN they’ll slurp Brandivino through a bendy straw and tell you it’s champagne:

AVN 6750 Aus Doc surrendered charity statusIndeed. The “charity” status from which they garnered so much street cred has now transformed into a “millstone”. Indeed, that’s the party line from president Comical Ali Greg Beattie for the last two days. In several articles he has been stating that the AVN never wanted the CFA, and that they had been attempting to get rid of it for years. In this just-published piece from The Guardian Beattie attempts to pull a fast one on the journalist. In his typical disingenuous, petulant manner Beattie goes to town unhindered by facts:

The president of the group, Greg Beattie, told Guardian Australia the AVSN inherited its charitable status when it took over the Australian council for immunisation information, and had been trying to get rid of it for years.

“We could have surrendered it at any time but the nice staff at the OLGR warned us if we did we wouldn’t be able to raise any funds,” Beattie said.

He said the organisation’s constitution and its “broad aims” painted AVSN as a charity but had recently hindered the work of its legal team appealing against the order to change the organisation’s name, which was when the issue of its status was revisited and reviewed.

“We’ve been celebrating ever since we shed that licence because the OLGR was a popular avenue of complaint for all of our complainants, [particularly] the Stop the AVN group.”

Celebrating. Indeed. Iraq is safe from the infidels. Break out the Brandivino, Greg.

There is one small problem with Beattie’s account. Meryl Dorey has been telling a  different story for years about the AVN’s charitable claims and aims, and the right for the AVN to hold such a prestigious accolade as its charitable status. It pulls in the donations, after all.

Here is Dorey in June 2009, in the AVN’s newsletter, complaining that the mean old Australian Taxation Office won’t give the AVN Deductible Gift Recipient status:

AVN 6753 Dorey June 2009 newsletter DGRAnd, here is Dorey in April 2012, on the AVN website, stating the she is “pleased” that the AVN had been given its CFA back by the OLGR:

AVN 6752 Dorey April 30 2012 reinstatment of CFA pleased site

To ram it home, here is Dorey just over one month ago stating that the AVN is a charity:

AVN 6756 Dorey the AVN is a charity Feb 6 2014

Even the AVN Facebook page, now owned by overseas unicorns (apparently), but, still linking to and describing the AVN, declares their past victories resultant in regaining their CFA. This image taken 45 minutes ago:

AVN 6754 1800 hrs March 18 2014 CFA reinstated Facebook infoMaybe Beattie meant, ‘we’ve been trying to get rid of this horrid charitable fundraising authority for days, and days. So many days, now. Oh the days we’ve wanted this thing gone”

I’ve previously described Beattie’s problems with his bed posture here and here. Dr Rachael Dunlop goes into more depth about the recent shenanigans, here. And Shellity has described some more arrogant Beattitude, here.

These people should forget lying in bed, and just take to rocking in the corner with a nice flagon of purple.

Thanks to all those who found links used above.

One office chair was harmed in the creation of this work.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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