Vaccine concerns lead doctor to United Australia Party

Retired and ready: Having retired from his medical practice, Dr Rob Peteson will now stand at the federal election in the seat of Nicholls, representing the United Australia Party.

A Seymour GP more than 40 years of medical experience will stand as the United Australia Party candidate for the federal seat of Nicholls at the next election.

Dr Robert Peterson, who retired in September last year, has announced his intention to run as a candidate on behalf of the party formerly known as Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

His decision to join independent Rob Priestly, Nationals candidate Sam Birrell and Liberal candidate Stephen Brooks has come on the back of his opposition to what he refers to as the “inadequate information about the vaccines” currently offered to Australians.

Dr Peterson retired from medicine after his wife of 15 years, Rosey, lost her battle with cancer late last year.

His reason for running at the next federal election is to make Australians aware of his concerns about the Messenger RNA, carried in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, along with their booster injections.

The Melbourne University graduate, who will be 70 in May, was a medical and footballing prodigy, entering university at the age of 16 and making his debut with North Melbourne Football Club at the age of 16 years and 45 days, in 1968.

Award winner: Dr Rob Peterson (centre) receiving his Victorian Rural Doctors Award (Seymour Telegraph on November 16, 2011).

He remains the youngest North Melbourne debutante. He ended up playing 79 games and kicking 109 goals with the Kangaroos and his last game was the losing 1974 grand final against Richmond.

He worked in Perth and joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service in West Australia, before relocating back to Victorian and practising at PANCH in the emergency department.

He arrived in Seymour in 1981. He is a life member of the Seymour Cricket Club and Seymour Racing Club, along with being a Life Governor of Seymour Hospital.

Dr Peterson said the United Australia Party stance against government mandates was one of the major factors in his decision to nominate for the election.

“This government’s handling of COVID, and the vaccines, has destroyed the middle class, ruined small business and has our nation’s mental health at an all time low,” he said.

He is also concerned about water management, energy prices and education.

The bigger picture, an election win, was for the United Australia Party to be able to apply pressure to what Dr Peterson said was a “guaranteed minority government”.

“Getting elected would mean that smaller parties can put pressure on whatever government gets in,” he said.

“We really need people to reclaim freedom. Freedom of choice, work and control over our bodies.”

Dr Peterson, due to the illness of his wife, did not practice during 2020-21, which meant he was never put in the position to make a decision about giving vaccines.

He was vaccinated with Astrazeneca vaccine (a viral vector vaccine) in 2020 because he was planning to work until his wife’s illness became more serious.

Dr Peterson said he was happy to answer any questions that Nicholls voters had regarding the vaccine and was not afraid about his stance on Pfizer and Moderna.

Dr Peterson has three children, Marc, Stuart and Lachlan. He is a grandfather of eight, his boys living in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

“I am doing this for the next generation,” he said.

“This will surprise a lot of people who know me well, but it is something I believe strongly enough in to stand up and be counted for.”