29 October 2021

Tim Quilty ends Parliament in Exile to take part in fight against new pandemic bill

Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has returned to Parliament, handing in proof of his double vaccination so that he can vote against the Victorian Government’s new pandemic laws.

Mr Quilty has this week been taking part in parliamentary activities from a closed nightclub near Parliament House, speaking to the chamber via audio-visual link.

However, any MP outside of the chamber is not allowed to vote, forcing Mr Quilty to submit his papers so that he can oppose the Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021.

“When we began our Parliament in Exile project, we knew this legislation was coming but we didn’t know the precise timing – the Victorian Government likes to keep everything secret and then dump it on us at the last second, minimising our ability to study and analyse new bills,” Mr Quilty said.

“The three of us – David Limbrick, Catherine Cumming and I – wanted to protest the Government’s requirement to access private medical information which they have no reason requesting.

“But this bill was dropped on Parliament a few days ago and there is no way I could miss speaking up for all of the Victorians who have phoned, emailed or messaged on social media, urging me to get back in and join the fight against the Victorian Government.”

Mr Quilty said staying outside Parliament was the best way to get their proof of vaccination message across, but now the political sands have shifted.

“This legislation is edging Victoria several steps closer to a totalitarian regime, one in which Premier Daniel Andrews can – with zero consultation whatsoever – force all 6.6 million Victorians to endure an ongoing state of emergency with all the resulting destruction we have seen over the past 18 months,” Mr Quilty said.

“The legislation is so horrific that a large group of Melbourne QCs has written an open letter urging Parliament to amend or reject the bill.

“It gives the Premier practically unlimited power with no opportunity for review, and therefore no reason to act reasonably or with restraint.

“I just can’t stay outside Parliament House while such awful legislation is being jammed through when I have an opportunity to fight against it.”

The bill will be debated in the Legislative Council during the November 16-18 sitting week.