Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

AVSN: Administrative Decisions Tribunal Appeal

On 22 March 2013 the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) heard the AVSN's appeal against the NSW Fair Trading order for the AVSN to change its name.

The AVSN had asked for a stay in proceedings which was granted, but on the condition that the following consumer warning was published on AVSN websites and its Facebook page:

Consumer Warning: NSW Fair Trading has directed the AVN to change its name because it regards the name to be misleading. The AVN is challenging this direction and the challenge is currently before the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

As pointed out by Peter Bowditch at More AVN woes the ADT failed to provide instructions in how the warning was to be displayed. This resulted in the AVSN being able to display it hidden from search engines, partly obscured by an image on one site, and as good as unviewable by mobile devices on another site.

The next hearing in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal is set down for 13 and 14 June 2013.

NSW Fair Trading issued this media release Tribunal orders warning on AVN

For background information on the name change order, please refer to:

Update 14 June 2013:
The hearing was completed today and the magistrate reserved her decision. Some people attending the hearing tweeted throughout the proceedings. These tweets can be viewed either by searching twitter for the hashtag #WAHpeal or view the storify version at Storify - AVN vs DFT.

Update 27 Nov 2013:
On 25 Nov 2013 magistrate Hennessy handed down her decision, upholding the ruling that the AVSN must change its name. The full decision may be viewed online at NSW Caselaw Australian Vaccination Network Inc v Department of Finance & Services [2013] NSWADT 266. NSW Fair Trading issued the following media release dated 25 Nov 2013 Australian Vaccination Network ordered to change its name

The AVSN only has two options at this stage, either change their name or appeal the ADT decision within 28 days. The grounds of appeal are limited to any question of law or in relation to the merits of the decision but only with the permission of the Appeal Panel. Refer to Appeals against decisions by Divisions of the ADT for further information. At the time of writing I am unaware of any deadline set by NSW Fair Trading for submission of the name change.

Meryl Dorey, in an interview with ABC Lateline, advised that the AVSN will decide on how to proceed after they have spoken to their members. In an interview with NBN News Dorey stated that the AVSN hasn't ruled out appealing the decision.

The AVSN issued the following media release (undated) on 25 Nov 2013 about the ADT decision AVN vs NSW Fair Trading: A Victory for Government Suppression & Censorship.

Update 10 Mar 2014:
Today the AVSN annnounced it has changed its name to the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network. The announcement was made in a newsletter and can be viewed at AVN's New Name Approved.

Please refer to new post AVSN - New Name Approved.