Blanket extensions a lazy policy approach

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has told State Parliament Daniel Andrews’ plan to extend the State of Emergency in Victoria until December is lazy policy.

Speaking during debate on legislation to extend the State of Emergency on Friday, Ms Britnell said rather than continue blanket emergency laws on all Victorians that give unelected bureaucrats powers to make decisions with no oversight or scrutiny – the Government needed to develop specific COVID related legislation.

“Hotel quarantine and other measures currently covered under the state of emergency will need to continue for a long time, no one is saying those vital policies should stop,” she said.

“The Government has had a year to develop to draft legislation that will allow for ongoing measures needed to help manage the virus, instead they have taken the easy option.

“Simply continuing to extend the state of emergency is lazy policy and sets a dangerous precedent.

“Limits on how long state of emergency could be declared were put in place for a reason – to stop government taking unnecessary and prolonged control of people’s lives – right now Daniel Andrews is trying to ride roughshod over those provisions.”

Ms Britnell said if the government has COVID legislation and then allowed the State of Emergency to end, there would be nothing stopping them using emergency provisions in the future if it is required.

“We need to manage this virus and we of course need to have rules in place – no one is denying that, but it shouldn’t be done through continued emergency provisions,” she said.

“It’s time to enact specific legislation to mandate testing, isolation, hotel quarantine and other provisions – but we need to end the ongoing State of Emergency and only use those powers when they are 100 per cent necessary.”

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