A MOVE by the Andrews Labor Government to extend the State of Emergency by a further 12 months will be opposed by The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath.
Ms Bath will today be debating Daniel Andrews’ controversial legislation in the Legislative Council.
The State of Emergency powers allow the government to impose and enforce restrictions, with no oversight or accountability, according to Ms Bath.
The MP said The Nationals will be proposing significant amendments to the legislation, fighting to make sure the right checks and balances are in place to protect Victorians’ lives and livelihoods.
“Under the State of Emergency powers, the Andrews Labor Government has devastated lives and the economy,” said Ms Bath.
“The Premier really needs to be honest with Victorians and immediately detail the criteria needed to achieve a ‘COVID normal’ life – as we’ve seen in every other Australian state.
“Labor has us all staring down the barrel of lockdowns until 2021, instead of giving Victorians hope with a defined plan out of this.
“Regional Victoria continues to suffer at the hands of a city centric Premier and I am calling for Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula to be moved back to Stage Two Restrictions to allow our economies to reboot and recover.
“Regional Victoria continues to experience low and manageable case numbers, it makes no sense to force regional Victorians to suffer because of a Melbourne-based issue.”
Ms Bath said the Premier’s “draconian” legislation is causing great distress.
“My electorate office has been inundated with thousands of calls and emails from Victorians fiercely rejecting Daniel Andrews’ push for more power,” said Ms Bath.
“On the other hand, I have received emails from less than ten people supporting Labor’s legislation changes.
“The response against the Premier’s State of Emergency power push has been extraordinary and unprecedented.”
Amendments The Nationals will be seeking include requiring extensions to be approved by both chambers of Parliament for a maximum of four weeks and to remove the proposal for the powers to apply even when there no active COVID-19 cases.