"Busloads of touring conspiracy theorists" are not welcome in the Blue Mountains, a council meeting heard this week.
Liberal Cr Brendan Christie told council that a nation-wide bus 'listening' tour of an anti-vaccination group called VAXXED may visit the region and he wanted them officially boycotted by council, as he said they also did not believe in the dangers of coronavirus.
"Busloads of COVID-denying anti-vaxxers, touring conspiracy theorists ... shouldn't be given a platform by our council," he said.
He moved an urgency motion to deny the group any booking on council property to "spread their anti vaccination propaganda" through the Mountains vulnerable, elderly community which violated the current public health order.
"This is madness. During a global pandemic bus loads of anti-vaxxers want to come in droves to areas whose hospitals can't cope if COVID-19 breaks out? Vaccinations have saved millions of lives globally and these people want to visit our regions?"
"They believe COVID-19 is a 'scamdemic'. They don't care about infecting the high risk with COVID-19 as it's 'just the flu' ... They don't care if they go through a hotspot or are a carrier. As the husband of a woman in the high risk category [type 1 diabetic] and as the father who's watched his son when he was three on a ventilator - a memory burned into my mind - it's the most heartbreaking thing to see a loved one on a ventilator. I'm proud of my colleagues for joining me in this stance."
Several other councillors spoke in support of protecting the vulnerable in the community, including Labor Cr Mick Fell who called their theories "crack pot".
The elected council unanimously supported the decision to deny any booking by the VAXXED group, in line with the present state government public health order to bar mass gatherings.
Cr Christie's post after the incident on social media attracted more than 800 comments with reactions mixed and heated.
Many congratulated him for the move, but not everyone supported the decision with Georgie Gunthorpe saying he had "misadvertised what this bus is doing. It's a few people on a bus having a chat and sharing their story about vaccinations". Others said the VAXXED group had a "booking system" to prevent mass gatherings.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said the "virus posed a very real threat to the community and our number one job has to be to protect the interests and the safety of our community ... irrespective of the philosophical stance ... you've got to put that aside. We need to speak against misinformation that puts our community at risk, not just the gathering, but the misinformation about the pandemic."