MEDIA RELEASE

2 February 2021

Liberal Democrats MPs David Limbrick (left) and Tim Quilty have condemned the Victorian Government’s attempt to extend its emergency powers.

Tim Quilty and David Limbrick condemn emergency powers extension

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has said the extension of Victoria’s emergency powers is unnecessary and indicates how willing Premier Daniel Andrews is to inflict damage on Victorian communities.

The Victorian Government will this week rush through legislation in an effort to extend its powers to December 15.

Mr Quilty said regional Victorians have had a gutful of having ridiculous directions made hundreds of kilometres away.

“All of us in border communities have had far too many hours sitting in traffic at border checkpoints to reflect on the fact that the Government has no idea what it is doing,” Mr Quilty said.

“It’s impossible to plan anything when some muppet in Melbourne could throw everything into disarray at any moment.

“Unfortunately, when someone in Melbourne panics, we suffer, even when there is no risk. We will vigorously oppose the extension when it gets to the Upper House.”

Mr Quilty said the uncertainty of border closures at the drop of a hat was putting people off visiting Northern Victoria, and was making it almost impossible for businesses to plan for the next six months.

“The prospect of a border closure means people are not going to bother planning a trip to regional Victoria and spending their tourist dollars here,” Mr Quilty said.

“That means businesses cannot possibly order in stock nor make staffing arrangements in advance.

“Business is based on confidence and on informed decisions. The Victorian Government is preventing both of these.

“Daniel Andrews is keeping us all on tenterhooks in regional Victoria even though we have never had any outbreaks, and updated tracing is ensuring local outbreaks can be dealt with locally.”

Liberal Democrats Member for South East Melbourne David Limbrick said the pandemic represented the darkest hour in the history of human rights in this state, and the Government has failed to address this.

“It should be possible for the Government to manage a pandemic without continuing draconian laws that allowed pregnant women to be arrested in their own homes, or public housing residents locked up and traumatised. There are ways for the Government to address public health imperatives without confiscating our human rights,” Mr Limbrick said.

“I can only agree with the Ombudsman who reported that ‘In a just society, human rights are not a convention to be ignored during a crisis’.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819