Constitutional change to protect Victorians

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The Victorian Liberal Nationals will introduce new legislation to restore trust and accountability in the way the Victorian Government responds to pandemics.

Under Daniel Andrews’ disastrous COVID-19 response, once unimaginable and unjustified limits on basic freedoms have become commonplace.  

For the first time in Victoria’s history, a curfew was imposed, it has been illegal to visit another home, travel further than 5km from home or allow your children to play at a playground.

Despite imposing the toughest restrictions in the nation and Melbourne suffering the longest lockdown in the world, Victoria has recorded more COVID-19, cases, deaths, job losses, mental health distress and school days missed than any other state.

For 18 months, these restrictions have been repeatedly imposed on Victorians without the health advice upon which they are based being publicly disclosed.

With the Andrews Labor Government about to introduce new pandemic management legislation that hands the Premier even more power with less accountability, the need for further protections of Victorians’ individual liberty could not be clearer.

That’s why the Liberal Nationals will introduce a Private Members Bill to require parliamentary approval over ongoing emergency or pandemic declarations by the government within the Victorian Constitution.

This Private Members Bill will amend the Victorian Constitution to:  

  • Limit the ability of the Victorian Government to declare an emergency or pandemic for no more than 30 days unless it secures a special majority vote in both Houses of Parliament.
  • Require the Premier to provide every non-government party leader and independent MPs with regular briefings justifying the use of state of emergency style powers.

Under this Private Members Bill, extensions to emergency or pandemic declarations would require a 3/5ths vote of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

Victorians cannot suffer a repeat of the last 18 months. We need new protections that ensure transparency and accountability are at the centre of current and future pandemic responses.

Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Tim Smith:

“Daniel Andrews wouldn’t be taking more powers for himself unless he plans to lock us all down again.

“Our liberties and freedoms have been under assault from this Labor government for eighteen months. It must end.

“Our proposed changes will protect every Victorian family and business from excessive restrictions on their freedoms, businesses and way of life.

“Daniel Andrews COVID response has failed. Why would we hand more power to the person who got us here in the first place?”

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