A NATIONALS MP says her office “continues to be inundated by locals who are angry and disagree with the Premier” around the controversial Pandemic Bill.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, said locals were also concerned about the “unjustifiable powers contained within the Bill”.
The state government is understood to be negotiating with crossbench MPs to try and gain the numbers to pass the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021.
Ms Bath labelled the Bill “draconian”.
“Daniel Andrews’ Pandemic Bill is one that reaches its legislative fingers out to place a stranglehold on the liberties of Victorians, including rural and regional Victorians in my Eastern Victoria electorate,” Ms Bath said.
A parliamentary petition sponsored by Ms Bath was tabled in state parliament last week.
The petition contained nearly 12,000 signatures and called for the Bill to be rejected.
Following adjournment of the debate, local Gippsland constituents have now reopened the petition, Ms Bath said.
“This Bill goes so much further than protecting the health and wellbeing of Victorians, it’s a complete overreach of political power.
“Any amendments Labor instigates does not fix the fundamental flaws in this Bill.
“The legislation is not a health response; it’s a political move designed by Daniel Andrews to deliver himself supreme power over the lives of Victorians.
“At this stage of the pandemic, The Nationals believe the Premier should be focusing on supporting our children’s educational recovery, fixing Victoria’s mental health crisis and re-building Victoria broken economy, instead of attempting to control Victorians with dodgy deals and dodgy legislation.”
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said she could not confirm how negotiations were progressing or when a deal might be reached, according to The Age.
“This is what happens with every Bill that comes through the parliament,” Ms Allan said.
“That process is best to occur by people having constructive conversations and negotiations and I’m advised that’s exactly what’s happening right now.”