Last Thursday, Mark Rogers, whom GetUp described as a 66-year-old grandfather from suburban Sydney, received a legal threat from the solicitor-general asking him to take down his website within 48 hours.
He was told that he would also have to agree to never again use Medicare branding.
Rogers has not complied with the government threat as yet. He told GetUp it was important that people were able to know the truth about Medicare – "that’s why I’ve been working on getting information out through my website since December 2014".
“The government is acting as if I've committed a terrible crime – and yet I only disagree with their direction. I see a stronger Medicare building a better future for Australians.
“This is a government that is so concerned with free speech, and yet here they are trying to stop me telling the truth about what they’re doing to Medicare.”
GetUp’s economic fairness campaigns director Natalie O'Brien dismissed the government threat as "petty intimidation tactics from a government looking to silence dissent on Medicare".
“This is a true David v Goliath story – a vindictive government using the enormous legal resources at their disposal to intimidate everyday people," she said.
“Enraged by their poor election showing, the government is trying to silence community members speaking up about their concerns for Medicare.
“It certainly begs the question: how many more people fighting for local issues in their communities have been silenced by these types of bully tactics?
“With lawyers breathing down Mr Rogers' neck, we've launched a petition calling on the government to back off and stop its bullying.
“We'll prove that attempts to silence community voices on Medicare will only make them louder.
“The ability for a citizen to speak out about issues that directly affect them is a basic democratic right. We are certainly considering the legal ramifications of Mr Roger’s case.”