Senator Matt Canavan clashes with Allison Langdon in debate over vaccine passports

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A rogue senator has declared he will boycott businesses that demand customers get the jab in a fiery clash with Allison Langdon over vaccine passports.

Matt Canavan appeared on the Today show on Wednesday to discuss a new study suggesting harsher restrictions are needed over high vaccination rates to quash Covid outbreaks.

Host Ms Langdon said business owners are facing abuse online from anti-vaxxers as they try to enforce the no-jab-no-entry policy.

But Mr Canavan argued vaccine passports were 'divisive' and should be scrapped.

Queensland Senator Matt Canavan (pictured) has sensationally declared he will boycott businesses that enforce vaccine passports during an interview on the Today show 

'We should not have vaccine passports at all. They are incredibly divisive,' Mr Canavan said. 

'The law is wrong. I myself just won't go to places that require vaccine passports. I just encourage Australians who are against a police papers state, just boycott it. You have a choice. 

'I just won't go to those sort of places, because I don't want to live in a country that divides us into two different types of people. We do not need these vaccine passports. We are getting to the targets. 

'There is already nearly 80% of NSW with the first dose. We're probably going to get to 90%. All this division, all this heartache is pointless. We should take a leaf out of the UK's book and drop vaccine passports and drop them fast. '

Ms Langdon pointed out his stance was impractical. 

'Matt, you're not going out to eat in a restaurant for a long time, you realise,' she said. 

Host Allison Langdon (pictured) suggested it would be difficult to avoid businesses once the measure is rolled out out across the country 

But Mr Canavan said he would rather sacrifice dining out than support the vaccine requirements.

'That's okay I'm fine with that. I'm not a bad cook at home, Ally. I will suffice with that,' he said.

'I draw the line at requiring someone to get a medical treatment. We have never done this before. That's not what we should do for everyday life.  I have said there is high-risk situations like aged care homes, where mandatory vaccines make sense. 

Ms Langdon interjected: 'Hang on, Matt! That is not actually true.'

'For every day life, your kids can't go to school, Matt,  if they are not vaccinated.

'They don't get certain government subsidies. But they are not excluded from society for not getting certain vaccines.'  

Ms Langdon said business owners were experiencing stress without clear vaccination legislation.

'Every business who opens to the public needs clarity. If you don't provide a safe work environment for your staff, you could get sued as a business owner. 

'But if you then discriminate against people as to who can or can't come in, you could also get sued.'

Mr Canavan argued that vaccine passports, which will be used to indicate Australians are fully-vaccinated, are divisive and should be scrapped 

Journalist Sarrah Le Marquand said legal cases were inevitable and would make the issue even more difficult for employers, but vaccination requirements were vital to protect vulnerable Australians. 

'I'm absolutely in favour of vaccine passports. It's the only way that we're going to really get everyone on board and hit the national vaccination rates that we have to get to get any sort of freedoms restored,' she told the program. 

'There are values and requirements that come with being a responsible citizen. Wearing a seatbelt, paying taxes so that we take care of hospitals and that there's a safety net for the most vulnerable people in our community.

'They are obligations that come part and parcel of being a grown-up.'

The federal government has flagged an 80 per cent double-dose vaccination rate as the milestone for when the nation can re-open its national borders and end widespread lockdowns.  

Despite his Liberal colleagues advocating for vaccine passports to encourage Australians to roll up their sleeves, Mr Canavan has been a staunch opponent of mandatory jabs.

Earlier this week, the MP took to Twitter calling for Australia to follow the UK's lead after the sovereign state announced it was dropping vaccine passports. 

'Vaccine passports are not a good idea,' he tweeted.

'They divide people, put costs on small businesses and probably can’t be enforced anyway. Good to see UK dropping plans for a "papers please" state.'

Journalist Sarrah Le Marquand said she strongly supported vaccine passports, arguing jab mandates are vital to protecting vulnerable Australia

Australia is expected to pass 70 per cent first dose vaccination coverage for people aged 16 and above by the end of this week.

More than 43 per cent of over-16s have full protection with Labor leader Anthony Albanese blaming the Morrison government's slow rollout for lockdowns.

'It always was a race. Now there are real consequences of us having run last in that race,' he told reporters in Sydney.

'Consequences for our health but also consequences for our economy.'

Health Minister Greg Hunt said fewer than 400,000 people needed to come forward for a jab this week to propel the nation past 70 per cent first-dose immunisation.

'That's an incredibly important milestone,' he said.

NSW recorded 1127 new Covid cases on Tuesday, the state's lowest rise in infections in almost two weeks.

There were also two deaths, bringing the state's toll for this outbreak to 186.

Victoria reported 445 new cases and two deaths, bringing its toll from the current outbreak to six.

The ACT's lockdown has been extended for another four weeks until at least mid-October after the ACT recorded another 22 cases.

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