Officeworks' bold new move to tackle anti-vaxxers

·3-min read

Office supply chain Officeworks has taken a bold stance in tackling anti-vaxxers, by banning 'unauthorised' vaccination certificates from being printed off.

A sign was spotted in a Sydney store, alerting customers to the changes.

"In line with our Print and Copy terms and conditions, our team are unable to print unauthorised vaccination certificates," the sign read. "Thank you for understanding."

The sign was spotted in a Sydney Officeworks store in an effort to stop people from printing goff fake Covid vaccination certificates.
The sign was spotted in a Sydney store. Source: Reddit

A photo of the sign was posted to Reddit’s Sydney group, many slamming people who used the retailer to print off fake certificates.

"How ignorant do you have to be to ask a business to participate in fraud," one user wrote.

"You know this sign exists because someone has thrown a [tantrum] at a retail worker," observed another.

"Imagine being so chicken s**t of vaccines that you'd rather openly commit fraud to such frequency that a company needs to put up an official sign than take a few free potentially life saving shots," another wrote.

Illegal to use fake vaccination certificates

It's illegal in NSW to use a fake Covid vaccination certificate.

In October 2021, Health Minister Brad Hazzard introduced a new law stopping people from using fake vaccine certificates.

Those caught breaching public health orders could be handed an $11,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment. and a further $5500 penalty may apply for each day the offence continues.

According to Services Australia, staff and customers in stores can present a colour or black and white printed copy of their proof of vaccination or a digital copy.

In 2021, a Sydney software engineer managed to create a fake vaccination certificate in 10 minutes, exposing a flaw in the Express Plus Medicare app as well as posing serious concerns about the future and reliability of digital vaccination certificates.

"Since the vaccine digital certificate launched, it’s been niggling in the back of my mind that something like this should both be difficult to forge and easily verifiable," software engineer Richard Nelson previously told Yahoo News Australia, adding when he had a "few minutes" to spare one night he gave it a go.

"I got my phone out to see what kinds of mitigations there were against something like this, simply because I was curious, and to my surprise there were none," he said.

In Australia, people who have received both doses of a Covid-19 jab can access a digital certificate through the MyGov website, which lists their name, age and what type of vaccination they have received.

The individual's vaccine provider must report the vaccination to the Australian Immunisation Register before it will appear on the certificate.

Front of an Officeworks store; large blue building with store sign and push pin.
The rule will apply to all 167 Officeworks stores. Source: AAP

Rule applies to all stores

An Officeworks spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the rule has been implemented in all of their stores Australia-wide.

"Officeworks is operating all of its 167 stores, customer fulfilment and customer service centres across Australia in line with relevant state and federal Government regulations and procedures for Covid-19," a spokesperson said.

"It is our priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic, to help keep our customers, our team and our communities safe and supported with the resources they need to work, learn, create and connect.

"Our terms and conditions for using our Print and Copy service reflect our inclusive culture at Officeworks and therefore prohibit the printing of any materials which violate or infringe the rights of others and we reserve the right not to produce any item that we believe may contravene Australian law, which includes printing fraudulent documents."

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