The misuse of emergency powers…

IN COVID-19 Gov Talk

Private members bill that aims to amend the Emergency Powers.

Glimpse of why we need this: True Impact of Lockdown

Another Glimpse…

  • Victorian Small Business Owners who can’t access gov support & have to live off their super every lockdown we have, are treated like this when they want their voices heard. They are suffering. Enough of this.
  • YouTube Link

The government is not going to give up it’s super powers. Right now they can make decisions without putting it to a vote and it’s been like this since March of 2020 (COVID state of emergency act enacted).

This bill tries to at least get some sanity & reasoning & accountability back into the madhouse that has given super-powers to a select few making all the decisions without opposition…. but there’s no way they will give up their power.

This is happening worldwide.

  • Even if this passes the Upper House, it will get squashed in the Lower where the government holds a majority.
  • The point to pass it in the Upper would be to send the govt a warning message that Parliament isn’t happy.
  • This has no chance in passing in full.

July 2021

July 15 2021

July 12 2021

June 2021

June 23 2021

  • How many people have lost their livelihoods because of your government’s tyrannical and arbitrary lockdown and the shattered economy?
  • YouTube Link

June 10 2021

June 9 2021

  • Emergency Powers Safeguards Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 – David Limbrick – South Eastern Metropolitan
  • David Limbrick’s speech supporting his colleague Tim Quilty’s Emergency Powers Amendment Bill. Liberal Democrat.
  • Rumble Link

June 9 2021

Today the Liberal Democrats Emergency Powers Safeguard Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 got across the hurdle of the Second Reading stage in Parliament’s Upper House.

The Victorian Government strongly opposed it, unsurprisingly – they don’t want to be held to account for their kneejerk reactions to COVID outbreaks.

The bill will now go to the Committee of the Whole, which allows the Upper House to grill me on sections of the bill. It’ll be a nerve-wracking process but it will give me a chance to re-emphasise how important it is for Victorians to be protected from the abuse of emergency powers.

When this will be is not clear, and it could well be a sneaky stalling tactic from the Andrews Government.

I’d like to thank everybody who emailed their local Upper House crossbench MP to (politely) encourage them to support the bill – this is how democracy is supposed to work.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4477821402262226&id=1182034018507664

June 9 2021

1 Min overview of what Bill is about

June 9 2021

May 2021

May 5 2021

In short, the bill requires that in cases where the state is able to use the normal democratic decision-making process it must do so.

Tim Quility’s Safeguards Bill (as explained from his website)

EMERGENCY POWERS SAFEGUARDS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2021

The Andrews Government response during the pandemic lockdowns has lacked proportionality and common sense, and restricted human rights of Victorians . Tim Quilty is putting forward a bill that will curb excesses of government power by returning democratic decision-making to the management of states of emergency.

The Emergency Powers Safeguards Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 intends to promote democratic decision-making during an emergency without compromising the ability of the state to response quickly to an immediate risk.

The bill clarifies that the purpose of emergency powers is not to grant extraordinary power to the state, but to allow an immediate response where it would take too long to consult the parliament. The bill requires the government to seek approval from the parliament before declaring a state of emergency or issuing a health order – except in situations where it’s not possible to do so.

The bill requires parliamentary approval for all extensions to a state of emergency and clarifies that the purpose of an extension is to allow the government more time to draft legislation that would deal with ongoing circumstances.

The bill also creates new offences for lawmakers that break the law regarding use of emergency powers. This offence is intended to capture the Minister, the CHO, the Premier, and any other lawmakers who issue declarations or health orders.

There are also some clauses that prevent governments from circumventing state of emergency restrictions by repeating or ‘chaining’ declarations and which prevent government using emergency powers to alter the offence provisions.

The bill applies similar rules to a state of disaster under the Emergency Management Act.

RATIONALE:

The bill does not affect the duration of the current state of emergency. We’re not looking to rehash what the Parliament has already decided on. This bill is about setting an expectation that democratic principles continue through future emergencies.

  1. Emergencies are emergent – not ongoing.

In the initial weeks of the pandemic, the government determined that severe lockdowns were necessary and that it did not have the time or information to draft legislation to facilitate them. This bill recognises the occasional need for such immediate actions to and continues to allow that kind of response.

However, we have been in a state of emergency for more than a year and the government has anticipated a continued state of emergency nine months into the future. Our current situation is no longer an emergency

We don’t suspend democracy during a crisis – we deal with crises democratically.

Over the last year, the parliament has been able to meet frequently and the Government has had little trouble drafting new legislation. Democratic consultation is available and representative democracy is more than capable of handling the ongoing situation.

Instead of drafting legislation and putting it before the parliament, the government used Victorians as hostages. They delivered an ultimatum to the crossbench – either we grant unilateral power to the Premier or we let Victorians suffer an unmitigated pandemic.

It’s understandable then, that crossbench members who have supported SOE extensions and enabled the continued use of these powers have since criticised specific uses of these powers. This bill would allow crossbenchers and opposition members to undo the use of emergency powers in cases where it’s not democratically supported.

Politicians are not above the law. Abuse of power is a serious offence that ought to carry a legal consequence.

This new offence ensures government compliance. At present, there is little incentive to avoid abusing emergency powers. When government issues health orders that exceed the scope of their power it’s up to citizens to sue the government and prove wrongdoing. This is an expensive and risky process and the state is powerful, well-funded, and able to defend itself. Even when wrongdoing is demonstrated there are no legal consequences and therefore no incentives to ensure this extraordinary power is used appropriately.

If you have any questions or concerns about this legislation please contact me at tim.quilty@parliament.vic.gov.au


Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper, ever trying to 'figure it out'. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, & random points of interests.