Update (20 February 2013)
The date by which the Australian Vaccination Network is required to lodge an application for registration of a new name is now 21 March 2013.
Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts today confirmed a formal order has been issued to the Australian Vaccination Network to change its name on the grounds it is misleading the public.
Mr Roberts said Section 11 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 provides the Commissioner for Fair Trading may direct an association to adopt a new name, where the name of the association is unacceptable.
“NSW Fair Trading has received complaints that the Australian Vaccination Network’s name is confusing and has misled the public as to its operational intention,” Mr Roberts said.
“The Commissioner for Fair Trading, Rod Stowe, has therefore written to the Australian Vaccination Network, directing the association to change its name.”
The Australian Vaccination Network is required to lodge an application for registration of a new name by 21 February, 2013.
If an application for registration of a change of name is not made on or before that date, Australian Vaccination Network Incorporated’s registration may be cancelled.
Mr Roberts said the Australian Vaccination Network’s name cannot be tolerated given its stance on vaccination and the potential for parents to be confused or misled.
“The Australian Vaccination Network does not present a balanced case for vaccination, does not present medical evidence to back-up its claims and therefore poses a serious risk of misleading the community,” Mr Roberts said.
“The Australian Vaccination Network can therefore find a new name that is more appropriate given its anti-vaccination stance.”
Mr Roberts said the decision to order the change of name was based on concerns raised by parents, medical professionals and the wider community across NSW.
“It is clear this association’s name is not appropriate given what it stands for and the O’Farrell Stoner Government is committed to ensuring the community is not misled on a critically important public health issue such as vaccination,” Mr Roberts said.
“We are asking the Australian Vaccination Network to be honest and upfront about what they stand for and to choose a new name reflecting their beliefs.”
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