Victorians deserve a plan out of lockdown. Labor only has a plan to keep us in lockdown.
Victoria is the only Australian state to endure a second wave of COVID-19, and this is a result of the inexcusable failures of the Andrews Labor Government, including the botched hotel quarantine program and shortfalls in contact tracing.
“The reason why State of Emergency is time-limited is because it gives government huge powers over the lives of Victorians.
“The Premier wants a 12-month extension of these unprecedented powers which would allow him to limit accountability, including shutting down Parliament.
“We need to ensure that some powers are in place to ensure we can continue this fight, but we’re not prepared to give this power hungry Premier 18-months of increased power.”
Recognising that Labor’s mismanagement of this pandemic means that some public health measures need to continue beyond 13 September 2020, the Nationals, along with our Liberal colleagues, will be proposing a number of amendments to Labor’s legislation that will better protect the rights of Victorians.
Our amendments are essential to ensure that the Andrews Labor Government does not continue to bypass Parliament and misuse these extraordinary powers in ways that damage Victorian lives and livelihoods.
Five key principles include:
- State of Emergency may only renewed on a month-by-month basis subject to Parliamentary approval in both chambers
- Removal of Clause 6 of the Bill which lowers the threshold for the Chief Health Officer to exercise State of Emergency powers
- Confirming that the right of Parliament to meet cannot be undermined by State of Emergency directions
- Remove the proposal for current State of Emergency powers to apply even when there are no COVID-19 cases in Victoria
- Any amendments to renew State of Emergency powers are only applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will also proposed other oversight and transparency measures.
The State of Emergency is the legal framework under which the current wide-ranging restrictions on people’s lives and livelihoods including restrictions on leaving your own home, business closures, travel bans, quarantine arrangements and curfews are made.
Labor is demanding a blank cheque to keep Victorians subject to these extreme powers for another year with little accountability or oversight.
This is dangerous to Victorians and to our democracy.
The Nationals will always stand for Victorians’ rights and freedoms in the face of government overreach.
Tell Daniel Andrews that our democracy matters and our rights matter and that you oppose this unprecedented power grab.