The Victorian Premier and his officials would be given dictatorial power if its proposed Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 passes through parliament, according to a new research report by the Institute of Public Affairs.
The research finds that the Bill would allow the Premier and his officials to:
- impose indefinite lockdowns even if there were no cases of the virus in the country
- imprison people without trial
- arrest people because of their religion, political beliefs, or ethnic background.
These powers would be exercised with the control or scrutiny of Parliament or the courts.
This research was featured today in a full-page statement in the Herald Sun, signed on by hundreds of Australians.
“This unprecedented grab for dictatorial powers by the Andrews’ government has no place in a free country like Australia,” said Morgan Begg, Director of the Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The idea that the government would be given permanent powers to exercise almost unlimited control over the lives of Victorians ought to be unthinkable.”
“If this Bill passes the health minister will be given nearly limitless power to rule by decree indefinitely, with complete disregard for parliament and the courts.”
“The cruel and arbitrary use of emergency powers in Victoria since March 2020 demonstrates why we need more scrutiny of the government’s actions, not the removal of any oversight whatsoever,” said Mr Begg.
The new research report, Daniel Andrews’ Pandemic Bill: An Attack on Our Democracy, is a publication of the Defending Freedom Project, which has been launched by the Institute of Public Affairs to investigate the crisis of Australian rights and freedoms arising from the nation’s coronavirus response.
View our full Report by clicking below.