Dan Andrews plan to give himself 'unlimited power' to declare pandemics even with zero cases and jail Victorians for two years if they break restrictions is half way to becoming law

Asia's Tech News Daily

Premier Dan Andrews' pandemic legislation passes the lower house on ThursdayThe bill will be debated in parliament's Upper House in three weeks timeVictoria's state of emergency laws expire on December 15 after 21 monthsPremier Daniel Andrews wants to pass sweeping new laws to replace them The health minister will have the power to enforce lockdowns and quarantineThere will be fines of up to $90,870 for individuals and $454,350 for businesses

Victoria’s controversial state of emergency law has passed Victorian Parliament’s lower house, a step closer to becoming a reality.

The proposed legislation that would give Premier Daniel Andrews unlimited power to impose lockdowns and restrictions passed 51 votes to 26 on Thursday evening.

Mr Andrews would be able to declare a pandemic for an unlimited time and could rule breakers could be jailed for two years and fined up to $454,350.

Concerns were raised by the opposition, cross benchers and legal groups over aspects of the bill including a lack of balance of government powers. 

Daniel Andrews' pandemic legislation passed State Parliament's lower house on Thursday evening with 51 votes to 26

Daniel Andrews’ pandemic legislation passed State Parliament’s lower house on Thursday evening with 51 votes to 26

There were days of heated debate where MP’s hurled abuse across the chamber, but the result was ultimately a foregone conclusion.

Daniel Andrews was called a ‘dictator’ in a hysterical ‘screaming match’ in the Victorian Parliament over the new pandemic management laws.

The opposition raised fears Mr Andrews wanted the laws in place so he could lock down the population on a whim – without any democratic oversight – as the state recorded a grim record of 25 deaths with Covid in a single day on Thursday.

The laws also allow the government to apply lockdowns and vaccine mandates to a ‘class of person’ such as the unvaccinated or workers with a certain type of job.

In three weeks time Victoria’s Upper House will debate the bill in parliament where it is likely to be pass with approval of Samantha Ratnam, Fiona Patten and Andy Meddick.

The MP’s were involved in negotiations this week over what amendments, if any, they would introduce to the legislation. 

Controversial new laws to manage pandemics could see rule-breakers jailed for two years and fined up to $454,350

Controversial new laws to manage pandemics could see rule-breakers jailed for two years and fined up to $454,350

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy told parliament on Thursday he would repeal the proposed law if the coalition were to be elected next year, accusing the government of ‘trashing democracy’. 

‘This bill enables an Australian government in a state, one of our six states, to rule by decree with no oversight,’ Mr Guy said. 

‘Except one or two individuals appointed by themselves, it allows them to rule by decree. It would not be, I think, something that any Australian 50 years ago would ever have imagined.’ 

In a heated debated in parliament on Wednesday, which involved shouting across the chamber, shadow attorney-general Tim Smith said: ‘This is nonsensical, it’s an abuse of power. 

‘It’s a disgraceful mistreatment of our democratic traditions giving the dictator dictatorial powers and you think that’s great. 

‘You think it’s absolutely fantastic giving the dictator the ability to rule by decree,’ he said in reference to Daniel Andrews.

The pandemic legislation is set to move to State Parliament's Upper House in three weeks time where it's expected to pass

The pandemic legislation is set to move to State Parliament’s Upper House in three weeks time where it’s expected to pass 

Speaker Colin Brooks interrupted and said: ‘I’m not going to let this descend into a screaming match across the table’. 

Opposition MP Louise Staley said the 113-page bill was ‘the largest I’ve ever seen’ and said politicians have not been given enough time to scrutinise it. 

‘To be brought into this place and then be told they will be debating it later this day is a complete and utter assault on democracy,’ she said.

The debate came as a Resolve Political Monitor poll for The Age showed Labor’s primary vote has dropped from 43 to 38 per cent since the last election in 2018.

That result would see it lose seats but regain power at the next election in November 2022.

The Opposition’s primary vote was only 34 per cent, one point less than in 2018. 

Meanwhile, an Essential poll released on Monday put Daniel Andrews’ approval rating at 52 per cent, down from 65 per cent last November. 

The Victorian Labor Government – which introduced the Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 in the state Parliament on Tuesday in the hope of passing it into law next month – accused the Opposition of being ‘hysterical’ and peddling ‘misinformation’.     

The new laws, which the Premier hopes to pass soon despite fierce opposition, state a person can be fined up to $21,909 for breaching a pandemic order.

This could include not wearing a mask, breaking a movement limit, attending an illegal protest or a gathering, refusing to get tested or failing to show ID. 

Businesses can be fined up to $109,044 for breaking rules which may include failing to make sure customers check-in or show proof of vaccine status.

In addition, there is a new aggravated offence for breaches that ’cause a serious risk to the health of another individual’.

These can be punished with a $90,870 fine and two years in jail. An example given in the bill is someone going to work when they are infectious and should be isolating.  

Businesses can also be guilty of an aggravated offence, with a maximum fine of $454,350 if, for example, they refuse to obey a lockdown and encourage customers to also flout the rules. 

In its explanation of an ‘aggravated’ offence, the bill says: ‘This aggravated offence is intended to cover non-compliance in egregious circumstances where there is an aggravating factor of the person knows, or having ought to have known, that the non-compliance is likely to cause a serious risk to at least one other individual.

‘Similarly, the conduct of a business failing to comply with safety protocols and other directions given in order to limit the spread of a pandemic disease and actively encouraging non-compliance by customers may amount to an aggravated offence. 

‘The offence is not intended to apply to minor or routine breaches that do not create a serious risk to the health of an individual, such as minor breaches of face mask requirements, and is not intended to be used as a tool to manage peaceful protests.’

The Victorian Opposition has described the laws as an ‘attack on democracy’ and vowed to oppose them at every turn. 

‘Under these laws Victorians face a $21,909 fine for failing to wear a face mask and business a $109,044 fine if a customer fails to check-in properly,’ Opposition leader Matthew Guy said. 


Are Daniel Andrews’ laws an ‘assault on democracy’?

  • Yes 1590 votes
  • No 77 votes
  • Undecided 40 votes

Now share your opinion


The bill has been drafted after consultation with three crossbench MPs to guarantee it will pass this week or next month despite the opposition from the Liberals and Nationals. 

The new laws will replace the state of emergency powers which expire on December 15 when they will have been in place for 21 months.  

The Opposition fears they could be used to re-impose lockdowns in the near future. 

‘These new laws aren’t about streamlining State of Emergency powers but about making it easier for the State Government to control people’s lives,’ Mr Guy said.

‘Daniel Andrews wouldn’t be passing these laws unless he planned on using them. 

‘The thought of handing even more power to the person who got us into this mess is simply unacceptable.

‘This extreme legislation is a threat to every Victorian family, small business and local community. It must be stopped.’ 

Victoria recorded 1,923 new Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths on Thursday. 

The new laws, which the premier hopes to pass next month despite fierce opposition, state a person can be fined $21,909 for breaching a pandemic order such as not wearing a mask. Pictured: The Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne

Victorian Legislation Privacy Policy

Associate Professor Maria O’Sullivan from Monash University said she was not aware of any precedent for an aggravated offence for breaching public health orders.

She also raised concerns the bill allows the premier to declare a pandemic for an unlimited time. 

‘So, ostensibly, the public health emergency could go on indefinitely… that would be of concern to me,’ she told the ABC. 

Three-month lockdowns 

Under the new laws the premier would be able to declare a pandemic for an unlimited time, with an extension required every three months.

The health minister will be able to sign off on public health orders instead of the Chief Health Officer, a role currently held by Brett Sutton. 

This gives the health minister the power to enforce lockdowns, shut down businesses, restrict movement, require masks, ban public gatherings, and enforce quarantine and isolation – powers currently held by the unelected CHO.

These powers can be implemented regardless of the number of disease cases or severity. 

The bill will also extend the mandatory payment for hotel quarantine beyond 31 December.  

Vaccine mandates and lockdowns for anti-vaxxers

The bill states that a pandemic order such as a lockdown or a vaccine mandate ‘may apply to, differentiate between or vary in its application to persons or classes of person’.

This allows the Government to select who it wants to apply the order to, including people who have been at a certain event, who live in a certain area or who have a certain type of job. 

The Government can discriminate based on ‘presence in a pandemic management area; participation at an event; an activity they have undertaken; their characteristics, attributes or circumstances,’ the bill says. 

It also allows the Government to lockdown unvaccinated people only. 

Under the new laws the premier would be able to shut down businesses, restrict movement and ban public gatherings even if there were no disease cases in Victoria. Pictured: A protestor is arrested by police at a protest in St Kilda on Saturday

The bill says the Government can discriminate based on attributes defined in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 which include race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status and employment status. 

But Health Minister Martin Foley said those factors would not be taken into account.

‘Any suggestion that those other considerations of the public health processes, that is just really mischief making. These are recommendations that come forward on clinical and epidemiological grounds. Not those kinds of characteristics,’ he said.

Professor Brett Sutton said attributes and characteristics could refer to ‘intimate partners having the opportunity to see other individuals… people normally resident in regional Victoria… children under 16 years of age because they haven’t had a vaccination opportunity… vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals in a vaccinated economy.

‘You need the agility to spread to those characteristics and attributes that might exclude someone from a public health order and that might be directed at someone,’ he said.

Tiered fines system

In a small win for disadvantaged people, the bill will allow disadvantaged people to apply for a ‘concessional’ fine. 

Greens leader Samantha Ratnam negotiated this in discussions with the Government.

She said: ‘I’m pleased that the Greens have been able to make sure these new laws have more transparency and are fairer for all Victorians, especially those facing disadvantage.’ 

Barista Maelys is seen at work at Cafe Chez Mademoiselle in Prahran, Melbourne, last week

Barista Maelys is seen at work at Cafe Chez Mademoiselle in Prahran, Melbourne, last week

Make health advice public 

The Victorian Government has faced constant criticism for not releasing the health advice that its lockdown decisions are based on.

The bill will require the publication of the reasons for the Chief Health Officer recommending a pandemic order.

It will also establish an Independent Pandemic Management Advisory Committee to scrutinise Government decisions and health advice.   

Under the new laws the premier would be able to declare a pandemic for an unlimited time, with an extension required every three months. Pictured: Victoria Police earlier this month

Under the new laws the premier would be able to declare a pandemic for an unlimited time, with an extension required every three months. Pictured: Victoria Police earlier this month 

QR safeguards

The new laws will ensure stronger safeguards to stop unlawful access to QR code check-in or contact tracing data, with a new offence in place. 

It means police can only get hold of the data if there is an ‘imminent threat’ to someone’s life.

Officers must acquire a Supreme Court order to access the data.

This comes after it was revealed in June that police failed three times to get access to QR code data. 

Reaction to the law

Opposition leader Matthew Guy said he would throw out the laws if he won the November 2022 election. 

‘I’ve never seen such an attack on Australian democracy as rules like this’ where ‘one man can rule by decree,’ he told 3AW radio.

Frontbencher Tim Smith has fears Mr Andrews is passing the law in preparation for more lockdowns.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (above) currently has powers to make special public health orders
The CHO powers would be passed over to health minister Martin Foley (above) under the new laws

The existing power of  Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (left) to make special public health orders would be passed over to health minister Martin Foley (right) under the new laws

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

The Opposition will propose a 60 per cent majority in both houses of parliament be required before a pandemic or an extended state of emergency can be declared.

Under the proposed alternative, the state of emergency powers and the need for them would have to be re-examined and voted on every 30 days. 

But Greens leader Samantha Ratnam backs the laws because she says they are better than the current state of emergency powers.

‘I’m pleased that the Greens have been able to make sure these new laws have more transparency and are fairer for all Victorians, especially those facing disadvantage,’ she said. 

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Would you go 'speed FRIENDING'? Lonely Aussies are now attending pop-up events to find new mates in the area

Aussies are attending 'speed friending' events to grow their friend circles 'Friend Request' is an event for women to mix, mingle and create new friendshipsThe pandemic and social media are additional hurdles for friendships to form  Read more »

What a transformation! Rebel Wilson looks thinner than ever in a little black dress and shows off her new look at the AACTA Awards in Sydney following her incredible weight loss journey

She’s famously shed 35kg (77lbs or 5.5 stone) over the past 18 months.  And Rebel Wilson’s radical weight loss was on full display when the 41-year-old hit the red carpet of ... Read more »

‘Priced out of buying' - First time buyers can't afford to buy in Edinburgh

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article. First time buyers in the city may find it increasingly hard to buy a ... Read more »

Andre Gomes presents Rafa Benitez with Everton midfield question at Crystal Palace

After seeing his Everton side return to winning ways for the first time since September 25, Rafa Benitez has some big selection calls to make for Sunday’s trip to Crystal ... Read more »

Notorious AFL superfan appears in court accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy

Collingwood AFL superfan Jeffrey 'Joffa' Corfe is accused of sexual abuse Corfe, 60, pleaded not guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court on WednesdayHe allegedly sexually abused of a 14-year-old boy in Coburg in 2005 Read more »

Heathers: Cast of smash hit rock musical based on 80's cult teen movie brave Edinburgh weather ahead of premiere

© The three Heathers shivering atop the Calton Hill, Madison Firth, Meryl Ansah, Lizzy Parker Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this ... Read more »

Covid vaccination now more important than ever with arrival of new Omicron variant – Steve Cardownie

As someone who meets that criteria, with the addition of a booster jab, it would seem that I can do no more to protect myself as the festive season beckons. ... Read more »

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand names his three favourites to win Champions League

© Provided by Metro Rio Ferdinand has identified the main Champions League contenders (Picture: BT Sport) Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has named his three favourites to ... Read more »

Prediction for Lyon vs Rangers: Gers can play their part in entertaining Europa League clash in France

Check out our 17/20 Lyon vs Rangers prediction below The pressure is off as Group A winners Lyon host confirmed runners-up Rangers on UEFA Europa League Matchday 6, though the ... Read more »

Acting legend Jack Thompson, 81, looks unrecognisable as he sports a scruffy beard and long hair at the 2021 AACTA awards

He’s one of the most significant figures in Australian cinema. But on Wednesday, Jack Thompson looked almost unrecognisable as he attended the 2021 AACTA awards in Sydney. The 81-year-old actor sported ... Read more »

Sheer daring! The Bachelor's Brittany Hockley leaves little to the imagination as she steps out in a VERY revealing corseted dress at the 2021 AACTA Awards in Sydney

Brittany Hockley dared to bare at the 2021 AACTA Awards in Sydney on Wednesday. The 34-year-old former Bachelor star stepped out in a very revealing white dress with a sheer corseted ... Read more »

Family's property dream turns into a nightmare after they buy their 'forever home' for $1.8MILLION, fully renovate it and then have to DEMOLISH it after they discover deadly asbestos

Dean Papas and his wife bought their dream Canberra home at auction in May They paid $1.8million then extra to have the heritage property fully-renovated After moving in, they discovered asbestos was hidden inside the roof cavity   Read more »

Police car FLIPS after being hit by a van while racing through a busy intersection - sparking heated debate over who was at fault

Dramatic footage shared of a police car flipping after intersection collision A white van hits the brakes but still clips the back of the patrol car  Two pedestrians can be seen rushing out of the way as the car skids by them   Read more »

Video: Is the 'Gladys for Canberra' bubble about to burst? Scott Morrison plays down speculation ex-NSW Premier will run for election 

Read more »

Careful! Zoë Foster Blake flashes her legs in $450 Gucci tights and a daring black couture gown at the AACTA Awards - before husband Hamish Blake almost STEPS on her dress

She’s the multimillionaire beauty entrepreneur who is known for her love of luxury designer goods.  And on Wednesday, former mag girl Zoë Foster Blake looked incredibly glamorous as she hit ... Read more »

Brave moment Olympic swimmer Madeline Groves reveals she was molested by a 'man still involved in swimming' over a FIVE year period

Olympic silver medalist Madeline Groves has spoken out on how she was abusedClaims she was abused and molested several times throughout her careerMadeline says she is speaking out to draw attention to Swimming AustraliaShe claims other swimmers were abused but allegations ignored by the sport  Read more »

Video: Sen. Joe Manchin threatens Biden with double blow as he blasts president's proposed $1.2 trillion Build Back Better spending bill as inflation risk, then warns he'll vote to nullify private sector vaccine mandate

Read more »

Is the 'Gladys for Canberra' bubble about to burst? Scott Morrison plays down speculation ex-NSW Premier will run for election

Prime minister has attempted to play down speculation Ms Berejiklian may run51-year-old at centre of intense lobbying to run for Sydney seat of WarringahMr Morrison has himself publicly called on the ex-premier to consider running Said on Wednesday though he suspected Ms Berejiklian would decide not to run Read more »

Mo Salah's exploits have hidden Liverpool's solution to long-standing issue

It was the Mohamed Salah show once again for Liverpool on Tuesday night – to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Salah, as he so often is, was the man to ... Read more »

Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney takes the plunge in VERY low-cut black and white mini dress at People's Choice Awards

Sydney Sweeney took to the red carpet at the People’s Choice Awards and showed off quite a bit of skin as she posed for photos.  The actress, 24, donned an ... Read more »

Video: Sarah Hyland kisses fiance Wells Adams who helps her with her dress as they walk red carpet for People's Choice Awards

Read more »

Shocked father posts the 'cruel' list of 'rules to live by' his teenage daughter received from her boss on her first day of work

A furious father has revealed the 'disgusting' letter his daughter got at workThe letter from her boss lists '11 life rules' for teenagers to live by The teenager received the letter on her first day of work at a retail store Read more »

Video: People's Choice Awards 2021 WINNERS: Kim Kardashian accepts Reality Show award for final season of KUWTK with Khloe and Kris Jenner... after also being given Fashion Icon honor

Read more »

Notorious conman Peter Foster to be extradited to Queensland after allegedly cutting off his ankle bracelet and going on the run for six months

Foster, 59, has been accused of a multi-million dollar Bitcoin scamHe had been on the run from police since he failed to appear in court in MayHe was first arrested in Port Douglas in August 2020 on fraud-related charges Read more »

Trevor Zegras makes insane pass for Ducks' incredible alley-oop goal

The Anaheim Ducks provided a strong Goal of the Year candidate in their 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. © Provided by The Comeback Standing behind the ... Read more »

Mother-of-five who helped killer escape detection after he murdered a teenage girl and hid her body in a barrel gives bizarre excuse for assisting in his horrific crime

Zlatko Sikorsky reached out to Tracy Ann Thomson after killing Larissa BeilbyMother of five knew about the teen's murder, still helped Sikorsky evade policeRemains of remains Ms Beilby, 16, found dumped in a barrel on the Gold CoastBrisbane Supreme Court heard Thomson was under the killer's 'thrall' in 2018 Thomson sentenced to three years' imprisonment but granted immediate parole Read more »

Phoebe Tonkin stuns in a white dress with a plunging neckline as she poses on the red carpet of the 2021 AACTA Awards in Sydney

Phoebe Tonkin oozed elegance when she stepped out for the 2021 AACTA Awards in Sydney on Wednesday. The 32-year-old Vampire Diaries star opted for a long white dress with a plunging ... Read more »

A-list arrival! Russell Crowe and his lookalike son Charles arrive into Sydney on a private jet ahead of the 2021 AACTA Awards

Russell Crowe and his lookalike son Charles arrived in Sydney in style ahead of the 2021 AACTA Awards on Wednesday.  The actor, 57, dressed casually for the flight in a ... Read more »

Pretty in pink! Wentworth star Susie Porter, 50, stuns as she showcases her age-defying figure in a couture dress at the AACTA Awards

Fans are used to seeing Susie Porter in her prison greens while in character on Wentworth. But on Wednesday, the Australian star looked absolutely phenomenal as she attended the star-studded ... Read more »

The thigh's the limit! Carrie Bickmore steals the show at the AACTAs as she does a twirl and flashes her slender legs in a daring green gown

Carrie Bickmore is no stranger to wowing on a red carpet. And on Wednesday, The Project host turned heads in a daring green with a thigh high split at the ... Read more »

NYC judge HALTS Bill de Blasio's vaccine mandate that has forced city workers including NYPD officers to have COVID vaccine or face termination

Judge Frank P. Nervo on Tuesday issued a temporary stay on Bill de Blasio's vaccine mandate for city employees De Blasio's order was issued on October 20, and all city employees - except uniformed correction officers - had until October 29 to get their first doseStaff were given a $500 bonus for getting vaccinated: if they refused, they were placed on unpaid leave The mandate applied to 160,500 city workers, of whom 71 per cent had already been vaccinated Last month reports suggested that 9,000 city workers, representing 5.6pc of the work force, were put on leave for failing to get vaccinated  Read more »

Covid lockdowns caused nearly 400,000 job losses in Australia — as experts sound the warning about economic recovery

Newly released figures are a reminder of the havoc the most recent COVID-19 lockdowns caused Australia’s labour market. The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows 378,000 employment positions were lost ... Read more »

Sen. Joe Manchin threatens Biden with double blow as he blasts president's proposed $1.2 trillion Build Back Better spending bill as inflation risk, then warns he'll vote to nullify private sector vaccine mandate

Manchin, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, said that he hasn't made a decision whether or not he'll vote for the bill and has concerns regarding inflation 'We've got to make sure we get this right,' Manchin said. 'We can't afford to continue to flood the market as we've done' He mentioned an op-ed he wrote in September arguing Democrats should pause on trying to push the bill over inflation concerns 'I was concerned then, and I said let's take a strategic pause,' Manchin said, adding that he still feels 'strongly about that' Inflation hit 6.2 per cent in October - the most recent figure available - and is now at its highest since 1990 Manchin has also indicated he'll side with Republicans to nullify Biden's plans to impose a federal vaccine mandate on private sector employers   Read more »

Sydney to Newcastle in 45 minutes: Bullet train plan is proposed for Australia's east coast - but will it EVER become reality?

New high speed train system could see travel around NSW cut by 75 per cent Trips from Sydney to Newcastle could be as quick as 45 minutes under the planNSW government has been urged to put the plans for train system into motion  Read more »

Benidorm customers ‘lost their temper' over Costa Blanca's tough new rules - ‘coercion'

Tourists and residents in Benidorm must now show a Covid passport to enter bars and restaurants that cater for more than 50 people. According to the association, customers are furious ... Read more »

WATCH: Can the Boston Celtics survive their West Coast road trip?

Just how tough will this West Coast road trip be for the Boston Celtics when all is said and done? The Celtics got off to a solid start, but the ... Read more »

Shaquille O'Neal Names The 1 Thing Lakers Need To Fix

Earlier Tuesday night, former NBA great Charles Barkley had a harsh message for Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis. © Provided by The Spun Shaquille O’Neal walks the red carpet. ... Read more »

Andre Iguodala on ‘weaknesses' in Warriors and Heat cultures

Andre Iguodala is one of the most important players of his generation. © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports There’s a reason why Andre Iguodala is so respected by his peers and ... Read more »

Manchester United add six players to Champions League squad

Five Manchester United academy prospects are in contention to make their debut against Young Boys in the Champions League. United have added defender Bjorn Hardley, midfielders Charlie Savage, Charlie Wellens, ... Read more »

Birmingham City interested in Swansea man as Troy Deeney fires 'grow up' warning

Welcome to BirminghamLive’s coverge of all things Blues on Wednesday, December 8. Troy says Troy Deeney says Birmingham City have to ‘grow up’ if they are to take advantage of ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic