- New state of emergency laws would strip out independent health advice
- All power would be given to politicians instead, without doctors signing off
- The total control would last for blocks of three months at a time before renewal
- Premier wants the new laws in place before the current laws expire at Christmas
Published: 00:39 AEDT, 26 October 2021 | Updated: 00:54 AEDT, 26 October 2021
Dan Andrews could be given unprecedented power to shut down Victoria at will during a pandemic under sweeping proposed laws.
Revised State of Emergency legislation would strip out independent health advice from the decision-making process during pandemics.
And instead, the new laws would hand all control over to politicians without the need for doctors to sign off the public health orders.
Even if there were no cases in Victoria, the premier would be able to shut down businesses, restrict movement, ban public gatherings, and enact quarantine.
The new pandemic powers would last for blocks of 90 days at a time, regardless of the case numbers of a disease or its spread, reports the Herald Sun.
The proposed laws could come before the state parliament as soon as Tuesday.
According to a reported briefing of independent MPs in the state parliament on Monday, Mr Andrews hopes to have them in effect by December.
The existing state of emergency provisions are due to expire that month, and the premier is desperate to have the legislation revised and in place for the switch over.
The current state of emergency legislation has been in force since the Covid pandemic first hit Australia in March 2020.