Labor’s State of Emergency legislation needs scrutiny

The Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC) is a long standing committee of the Victorian Parliament that enjoys cross party support for its important work in analysing the common law and Charter rights engaged by legislation introduced to Parliament.

After a Bill is introduced and adjourned, SARC prepares a report on the rights engaged, which is tabled before the second reading debate takes place, this is an important part of the scrutiny process.

Noting the State of Emergency legislation was to be rushed through this week, I wrote to the SARC Chair, Labor’s Mark Gepp, requesting SARC prepare a report on the human rights consequences of the draconian State of Emergency legislation. A detailed report will not be tabled today.

Victoria is not in the position we are today due to bad luck, but due to bad decisions by the Andrews Labor Government in hotel quarantine and delays in contact tracing.

Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:

“Daniel Andrews and his Government have yet again demonstrated their contempt for the Parliament, proper process and the impact on human rights of all Victorians.

“It is staggering that despite the State of Emergency legislation that limits so many rights, Daniel Andrews’ hand-picked and highly paid SARC Chair couldn’t be bothered doing the work to inform the Parliament and the Victorian community about the human rights consequences of this sweeping legislation.

“Victorians are currently experiencing never previously seen human rights restrictions, including night curfews, 5km movement limits and worker permits, as ordered by an unelected departmental official.

“Coming the day after alarming and shocking footage of a pregnant young mum being carried away in handcuffs by police for sharing a Facebook post, Victorians have every right to be concerned about their rights in Daniel Andrews’ Victoria.”

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