3 March 2021

Tim Quilty condemns nine-month extension of Government's emergency powers

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has condemned the passing of legislation to extend the Victorian Government’s emergency powers.

Victoria is now under another nine months of the threat of snap lockdowns, panicked border crossings and unwarranted fines after the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension) Bill 2021 passed by just one vote, 19 to 18, in the Upper House.

Mr Quilty said the Andrews Government has had long enough to implement better targeted control measures which do not create so much collateral damage.

“The emergency was over a long time ago and we need to be dealing with the virus as part of our daily lives,” Mr Quilty said.

“We can’t continue to rely on emergency powers. The Government has had 12 months to write specific legislation to deal with COVID, but instead continues to rely on emergency powers, because Dan Andrews loves his unlimited power.

“The Government can’t even defend this legislation, they just attack and demonise those who oppose it.

“This is not leadership, this is a party drunk on rule by decree.”

Mr Quilty said the Andrews Government was hiding the actual ‘health advice’ used to justify keeping Victorians in fear.

“The Government will not release the actual health advice, will not release the human rights assessments behind the restrictions,” Mr Quilty said.

“The Premier is hiding behind this secret advice to give himself the ability to cover up the inevitable new outbreaks created by poor quarantine management and poor contact tracing.

“He will lock regional Victorians down to make up for the next hotel quarantine fiasco.

“Dan Andrews may enjoy ruling by decree, but none of the rest of Victoria is enjoying it.”

Mr Quilty said a long-term plan should replace emergency powers and be much more suited to the task.

“I am not so naïve as to think that we are on the final furlong of this pandemic. I am sure there will be more twists in the tale,” Mr Quilty said.

“But I firmly believe we need to end the emergency and start dealing with COVID as everyday life - a problem which we will probably have for several years into the future.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819