Upper house

Pandemic laws passed lower house amid heated debate


The upper house will debate the bill in parliament in three weeks, and it is expected to pass with the approval of Samantha Ratnam, Fiona Patten and Andy Meddick, who participated in the negotiations on the legislation.

They looked at the bill this week and have yet to make a decision on what changes they would make, if any. However, MPs from all benches might be inclined to demand a parliamentary committee, in addition to the independent advisory committee, to review government decisions.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy told parliament on Thursday that he would repeal the law if the Coalition is elected next year, accusing the government of being “megalomaniacs” who “trash” democracy and the separation of powers .

“This bill allows an Australian government of one state, one of our six states, to govern by executive order without oversight,” Guy said. “With the exception of one or two people appointed by themselves, it allows them to rule by decree. It wouldn’t be, I think, something that no Australian 50 years ago would have imagined. “

Industry Support and Recovery Minister Martin Pakula was the highest government minister to speak on the bill in parliament on Thursday. He accused the opposition of dramatizing their response.

“All this hyperbole, all this hysteria, it’s not because the powers themselves are so fundamentally different; it is because the people who approve these powers are the very people who, according to the Leader of the Opposition, should be the people who approve these powers and these instructions, ”said Pakula.

“Are they suggesting, for example, seriously that you shouldn’t be able, in a pandemic, to have public health guidelines that restrict movement?”

“Are they seriously suggesting that we shouldn’t be able to guarantee that, for people who are positive for COVID or positive for any other pandemic illness that may arise in the future, we have the opportunity to have a prescription that says they must stay home? Because it is one of the things that is now apparently described as draconian, undemocratic, Russian. ”

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