See Serene Teffaha for indepth explanations – BRILLIANT
Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) – send the authors to Siberia and all the house members who voted for this crap!! shame! shame! shame! you are not Aussies!
Metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day average for new coronavirus cases against reopening targets
Step one came info effect on September 13 .
Step two will come into effect on September 28 if the 14-day average for metropolitan Melbourne is between 30 and 50.
Step three will come into effect on October 26 if the 14-day average for the whole state drops below five and there have been fewer than five new mystery cases statewide over the same period.
The final step will come into effect on November 23 if the state records no new cases for a fortnight.
Hello Friends, I am asking your help regarding a legislative or political matter now before the Victoria state parliament. I understand that many of you are not interested in state politics or what happens in Spring Street, and I can well understand that. However I regard this matter as potentially very, very serious, possibly with severe future implications for the personal rights and liberties of all of us living here in Victoria. I wish to thank my friend Dr. Isaac Golden for drawing my attention to this matter. The bill or proposed legislation now before the state parliament is the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 ( https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/covid-19-omnibus-emergency-measures-and-other-acts-amendment-bill-2020 ). That bill passed the lower house of the Victoria Parliament on 18 September but is yet to be debated or voted on in the upper house. From what I understand, the upper house or Legislative Council of the parliament will be discussing the matter and then voting on it starting on their next sitting day, which according to the website will be on 13 October. I was unaware until I started researching this, that a bill with a similar name, the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 ( https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/covid-19-omnibus-emergency-measures-bill-2020 ) passed both houses of the state parliament in April. That bill was in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak crisis here. I am sure that you are all aware of the Stage 3 (regional Victoria) and Stage 4 (Melbourne and suburbs) coronavirus lockdown or restrictions which were authorised under that bill. And just to complete the picture, both the bill that became law in April as well as the current bill contain modifications or amendments to an earlier piece of legislation, the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 ( http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/phawa2008222/ ). Now I can state why I, and many others who have looked into this bill, consider the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 to be so sinister. Let me present some recent articles in the media. The first is an article from The Age: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/people-who-refuse-to-self-isolate-could-be-detained-under-proposed-victorian-law-20200914-p55vm0.html . Here are some quotes from that article:
New powers to detain people considered a high risk of negligently spreading COVID-19 are set to be debated in State Parliament this week. The Victorian government could also enlist protective services officers and WorkSafe inspectors to enforce public health directions under the proposed law……. People suspected by health authorities of being likely to spread the virus if they are COVID-positive or a close contact of an infected person could be forcibly detained if the bill is passed.
The rules, confirmed to The Age by a state government spokesman, could be applied to conspiracy theorists who refuse to self-isolate or severely drug-affected or mentally impaired people who do not have the capacity to quarantine. Those caught under the new rules could be detained in places where they could be monitored, such as hotels.
The Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill proposes new powers the government says will strengthen the state’s pandemic response, including broadening the types of government employees who can act as authorised officers. (In my understanding that means that doctors and health workers are to be given powers of arrest and detention that are normally reserved for police officers!). The state of emergency and state of disaster…….. allow the officers to detain any person “for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health”. The officers can also restrict movement, search premises without a warrant and give other directions that are deemed necessary to protect public health.
And here is an article from the Australian Associated Press that also discusses the new legislation: https://www.araratadvertiser.com.au/story/6936289/vic-covid-19-bill-powers-worry-qcs-judges/?cs=9676 A few quotes from that article:
Prominent legal figures want the Victorian government to change its controversial COVID-19 Omnibus bill, calling some of the provisions “unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse”….. The 14 retired judges and QC’s have published an open letter, saying they are “deeply concerned” that the bill went through state parliament’s lower house last week…… The list of QCs putting their names to the letter include retired High Court judge Michael McHugh and former Federal Court judges Peter Heerey and Neil Young……… There are growing concerns about a section of the bill that gives more powers to authorised officers to detain people, as part of the state government’s coronavirus restrictions.
Friends, when a retired judge from the High Court of Australia and two former Federal Court judges, as well as other legal “heavyweights” speak out in public about the new bill, you know that it is a very serious matter indeed!
Finally an article from Russia Today. It is very interesting that Russian-backed media – given the poor history of protection of human rights against government control in Russia – are now in a position to (correctly!) lecture us in the West on legislation that gives the government seemingly totalitarian powers!: https://www.rt.com/news/501366-victoria-people-arrest-each-other/
Friends, I hate to state this but in my opinion, Premier Daniel Andrews and the state ALP are now proposing this bill (already passed in the lower house, the Legislative Assembly as stated) to give themselves dictatorial powers, while pretending those powers are necessary to control the spread of the coronavirus! As we all know, here in Victoria the daily numbers of persons who are diagnosed with the disease have declined rapidly and dramatically in the past week or two. So given this successful trend – which Premier Andrews has pointed out as a successful outcome to the government’s strategy – why is he requesting such draconian powers in the new COVID-19 Omnibus Bill? I supported Premier Andrews and the ALP during the last state election in November 2019 and was happy to see them returned to power. However, now I strongly suspect that Andrews is pursuing a secret and possibly sinister agenda in asking the parliament to pass the new legislation.
So what to do now, how to stop this draconian legislation from passing in the upper house, the Legislative Council, in the Victoria state parliament? The good news is that Andrews and the ALP do not have a majority in the upper house. Thus for them to pass the bill, they will have to rely on independent and minor party MPs in the Legislative Council. In late August three of those MPs – Fiona Patten from the Reason Party, Ellen Sandell from the Victorian Greens, and Andy Meddick from the Animal Justice Party – were critical in helping Premier Andrews pass legislation enabling him to extend the State of Emergency powers through which he was able to put in place the Stage 3 and 4 lockdowns. Given the current setup in the state parliament, if enough persons from the general public put enough pressure on independent and minor party MPs – especially those three – then the bill can probably be defeated. Or if not defeated, significant amendments to the legislation will be presented, which Premier Andrews and the ALP will have to honour, in order for the bill to pass.
To make this easier for those of you who are concerned about this matter, and who wish to take some action to prevent the draconian aspects of this bill from passage, I have prepared a simple message which if you feel motivated, you can send to some of the MPs in the upper house. You are most welcome to rewrite this message as you feel appropriate, or even write a completely new message. The bottom line is that when it comes to politics, the numbers matter and so if enough persons speak up and speak out, we have a good chance of stopping this legislation. Here is the message:
Dear MPs in the Victoria Legislative Council,
I have recently learned about a piece of new or proposed legislation before the state parliament, theCOVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 (https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/covid-19-omnibus-emergency-measures-and-other-acts-amendment-bill-2020). I am very concerned about some of the provisions of this bill, especially the section that would give government employees such as doctors and health workers the power to detain and even arrest persons who test positive for the COVID-19 disease, as well as close contacts of the infected individual. Even more concerning is the section that gives the government or health workers the power torestrict movement of persons suspected of being infected with the virus, search premises without a warrant and give other directions that are deemed necessary to protect public health. Normally such powers are only reserved for police officers who have received appropriate training.These proposed powers in the new legislation seem to me to be excessive. Some persons would even argue that they threaten the basis of the personal democratic rights that we have known and taken for granted for decades and even over a century, not only in Victoria but in other states in Australia as well. Recently a group of high-powered legal professionals – including a retired judge from the bench of the High Court of Australia and also two former Federal Court judges, as well as several QCs – have expressed their concern about the new legislation in a public letter. The details of those concerns are contained in this article from the Australian Associated Press: https://www.araratadvertiser.com.au/story/6936289/vic-covid-19-bill-powers-worry-qcs-judges/?cs=9676 .As we have seen during recent days and in the past week or so, the daily numbers of persons who have been diagnosed as being infected with the coronavirus have declined dramatically in Victoria. On many occasions during the past week, Premier Andrews has pointed to those falling figures as proof that the Stage 3 (regional Victoria) and Stage 4 (Melbourne and suburbs) restrictions that were introduced over a month ago have been successful. If the government’s strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus in this state has been so successful in recent days, then why the push to give the government and especially health workers such excessive powers now? All that makes little sense, I reckon.Because of my concerns, I am asking that you please seriously consider voting against passage of theCOVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other ActsAmendment Bill 2020 when the Upper House next sits, which according to the Legislative Council website is 13 October. IF Premier Andrews and the ALP state government are really so concerned with the COVID-19 spread in this state, then surely they can find other ways and means to combat the virus, without passing legislation that impacts so dramatically upon the traditional personal rights and liberties of ordinary citizens and residents.
……………………. (your choice as to whether to include city or town of residence or not)
Here is the list of e-mails of MPs that will be critical in either defeating the legislation, or forcing major changes to it. The first four names on the list (highlighted in yellow) are the most important, so not critical to include all names unless you so wish:
Regards, Zachary C. Casper <firstname.lastname@example.org>