Why the AVN didn’t win against the HCCC #StopAVN

Previously, on CSI: Bangalow:

My last post covered the reasons for the Australian Vaccination Network’s victory, on the technical question of the jurisdiction of the NSW Healthcare Complaints Commission in investigation two complaints against them. Following these complaints, the HCCC issued a public warning against the AVN:

The Commission’s investigation established that the AVN website:

  • provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
  • contains information that is incorrect and misleading
  • quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.

Now, the judgment in AVN v HCCC seems to revoke that warning, officially at least. The AVN can certainly celebrate a small victory, irrelevant to the truth of its claims or the danger it poses. It’s a disappointment.

However that is not the full story.

The AVN fails to influence OLGR

The AVN had a second (and much more important) goal in AVN v HCCC. The HCCC’s public warning was used as one factor in the decision by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (don’t ask) to revoke the charitable fundraising authority of the AVN.

The AVN was hoping that this decision could also be overturned by the case. They failed.

As my mate Jason puts it:

AVN argued that the HCCC order and warning brought them into line-of-fire of a new hazard - that of having their charitable status revoked. The judgement explicitly says that this is not the case. So the AVN, while they’ve won on paper, have actually lost the part that the organisation would value the most.

You really should read the rest of Jason’s excellent post.

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