The Victorian Liberal Nationals will act to protect Victorians from the most dangerous laws in our state’s history.
Daniel Andrews’ new pandemic legislation would give him the power to lockdown Victorians, close businesses, schools, playgrounds and keep families apart without any independent oversight or right of appeal.
These laws have been widely criticised by legal and social experts including the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Law Institute of Victoria, Victorian Bar, Human Rights Law Centre and several multicultural organisations.
The Victorian Liberal Nationals have committed that a future Matthew Guy led Government will repeal these laws as its first act.
Additionally, the Victorian Liberal Nationals will move 18 amendments to protect Victorians from the most dangerous elements of this Bill, including;
Add explicit reference to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act’s principles of evidence-based decision making, accountability, proportionality, collaboration, prevention and precaution to pandemic declarations and orders (amendment 1)
Limit extensions to pandemic declarations to one month (instead of 3 months) and subject to; (amendment 2)
A statement outlining the justification and objectives of the extension (amendment 3)
A three-fifths majority vote of both Houses of Parliament (amendment 3)
The ability of Parliament to repeal its approval for an extension (amendment 4)
Require regular and full briefings to be provided to the Leader of the Opposition and all non-government Members of Parliament (amendment 5)
Remove the ability to make orders on the basis of personal attributes, including political activity, sexuality, religion, age and breastfeeding status, upon which health orders may be based (amendments 6,7)
Require written advice to be provided in relation to the Human Rights impacts of any health order (amendment 8)
Require a copy of the written advice upon which a health order is based be publicly released within 14 days (amendment 9)
Suspend pandemic orders for which written health advice is not provided within 14 days (amendment 10)
Require Chief Health Officer advice relating to pandemic declarations to be tabled in Parliament (amendment 11)
Restore measures relating to the scrutiny, suspension and disallowance of pandemic orders (amendment 12)
Add a right of appeal to VCAT for any person impacted by a pandemic order (amendment 13)
Block pandemic orders that interfere with the ordinary and full operation of the Victorian Parliament (amendment 14)
Enable the Victorian Legislative Council to disallow pandemic orders (amendments 15,16)
Block warrantless entry into a residential premises by an authorised officer (amendment 17)
Establish a Parliamentary committee to oversee pandemic orders consisting of a majority of members and a chair from non-government members of Parliament (amendment 18)
These new laws aren’t about helping Victorians recover and rebuild from COVID but about making it easier for Daniel Andrews to control people’s lives.
Instead of handing more power to the person that got us in this mess, we need a new plan to keep Victoria open and rebuild our economy, mental health and social wellbeing.
Matthew Guy MP David Davis MP
Leader of the Opposition Shadow Treasurer