- MP Adem Somyurek says he will vote against state government’s pandemic bill
- Debate into the bill is set to resume on Thursday but a final vote may come Friday
Published: 08:05 AEDT, 18 November 2021 | Updated: 08:13 AEDT, 18 November 2021
Disgraced former Victorian Labor MP Adem Somyurek says he will vote against the state government’s pandemic bill, after his parliamentary suspension was lifted allowing him to take part in the vote.
Debate on the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill is set to resume on Thursday but a final vote may come as late as Friday, with MPs advised parliament could sit an extra day.
The Victorian government had been confident the bill would pass after delivering amendments to secure the support of upper house crossbenchers – the Greens’ Samantha Ratnam, Reason Party MP Fiona Patten and Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick.
But the return of Mr Somyurek – who quit the party before he was expelled for leading a widespread branch-stacking operation – opens the door for him to cast the deciding vote.
In an opinion piece published in the Herald Sun on Thursday, Mr Somyurek said he planned to vote against the bill due to its ‘coercive powers’
The current bill gives too much power to the government, lacks independent oversight and ‘appropriate mechanisms’ to scrutinise the new powers, he argued.
‘I will not support this bill in its current form, and I would encourage the government to go back to the drawing board and consult more broadly,’ the MP wrote.
A no vote by Mr Somyurek would result in a tie, meaning the bill would have to be reintroduced in parliament’s lower house.
Victoria’s current state of emergency expires on December 15 and cannot be extended.