NSW Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres has welcomed the Australian Vaccination Network’s name change after receiving numerous complaints that the group’s title was misleading.
The group’s new name, Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network (AVSN), came into effect on March 7.
The change was ordered by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal to better reflect the group’s anti-vaccination stance.
Mr Ayres on Tuesday said it was important the group was up-front about that stance.
‘‘I am pleased to see the association has adopted a name which reflects its purpose, given its overwhelming focus on the publication of anti-vaccination messages and information,’’ he said in a statement.
Fair Trading originally told the group to change its name after receiving several complaints, including from the Australian Medical Association.
The Bangalow-based group unsuccessfully challenged the direction in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal last year.
The tribunal said that using the words ‘‘risk or sceptic’’ in the new name was acceptable.
AVSN says it was forced to use the American spelling of sceptics after ‘‘hate groups’’ prevented it registering its pre-approved name, Australian Vaccination Sceptics Network.
AVSN’s public officer Meryl Dorey said the name change would have ‘‘no effect whatsoever’’ and was a waste of government money.
‘‘I don’t think anyone was confused about what our organisation stood for,’’ she told AAP on Monday.
‘‘The government has gone to these lengths to try and force us ... and I think it says more about the government to try and get us to close down.’’
The name change had not been made on the group’s website on Tuesday, with the title Australian Vaccination Network still in place.
But AVSN president Greg Beattie said the group was working on new letterheads, banners and website changes.
‘‘I imagine in a week or two we should have most things updated,’’ he told AAP.
Mr Beattie said the group was facing administrative strain due to ongoing challenges from certain groups.
‘‘It has kept us busy for a long time but it has come to a crescendo at the moment,’’ he said.
The name change and constitution change have come in the middle of that, Mr Beattie added.