8 April 2020

Tim Quilty joins show of crossbench unity to demand democracy during COVID-19 crisis

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has joined his crossbench colleagues in a show of unity to demand the Andrews Government restore democracy to Victoria during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Quilty said that with the Government exercising extraordinary powers and making significant expenditure on a near-daily basis, it is important there continues to be some form of parliamentary oversight.

The joint statement calls for Parliament to continue sitting, so that important legislation can be passed during this time.

Failing this, the crossbenchers are calling for the establishment of a scrutiny committee, to ensure continued oversight of the Andrews Government’s response to the crisis.

“The government has practically unlimited powers to fight COVID-19, and I for one am not happy with the way they are using those powers,” Mr Quilty said.

“Without the Parliament to question them, we risk seeing ever more abuses against people engaged in ordinary activities alone who pose no risk of spreading the virus.

“Without the Legislative Council to hold the government accountable we might as well be living in a dictatorship. Perhaps we already are.”

Nine members of the Victorian crossbench have put their names to the demand, representing a broad geographical section of the State and a broad spectrum of political views.

Although the crossbenchers often engage in robust debate, they have set aside their differences and presented a united front to the Andrews Government.

“Although we often argue in Parliament about legislation because of our political viewpoints, we have set aside these differences because we are united in our outrage at the Andrews Government’s behaviour,” Mr Quilty said.

“They have taken advantage of this crisis to impose authoritarian diktats on Victorians, and I am sick of seeing the Premier and his Ministers dress up this new regime as some sort of care package.

“They have ridden roughshod over democracy, they have ridden roughshod over freedom and they have ridden roughshod over Victorians.

“This cannot be allowed to continue.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819