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Palmer anti-vax flyer deceptive: NSW mayor

Clive Palmer
Broken Hill mayor Darriea Turley has told an inquiry she was "shocked" by UAP anti-vax leaflets. Photo: AAP
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Clive Palmer’s political party distributed anti-vaccine flyers made to look like official medical advice in the regional NSW town of Broken Hill, the town’s mayor has told a parliamentary inquiry.

The United Australia Party “targeted” Broken Hill, distributing flyers with COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on several occasions, mayor Darriea Turley told the NSW parliamentary hearing on Thursday.

Initially the flyers were in the party colours of yellow and black.

But the third or fourth round of flyers were on white paper with blue and red writing, Ms Turley said.

“It was just incredible,” she told AAP. “I worked in health for 41 years and I thought it was a medical flyer until I realised it was a (United Australia Party flyer).”

Ms Turley told the hearing she was shocked by the flyers.

“My concern is that we have a high Aboriginal population, and whether this influenced any vaccine hesitancy for that community,” she told AAP.

While Broken Hill now has high vaccination levels, there are still pockets who are vaccine hesitant, she said.

“I haven’t got any data to say that this flyer influenced (hesitancy) but if you receive a flyer that looked like medical information, you would be thinking that … these messages … were recommended by health professionals,” she said.

Ms Turley told the committee it was a “shame” the UAP had not been taken to task legally for distributing the misleading information.

The parliamentary inquiry is investigating health outcomes and access to health services in rural and regional NSW.

The committee will on Thursday hear from community members in Wilcannia, a small town with a high Aboriginal population that was the site of a significant COVID-19 outbreak during the Delta wave in mid-2021.

AAP has contacted representatives for Clive Palmer and UAP leader Craig Kelly for comment.

– AAP