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Omnibus laws to ‘create a certain class of citizens empowered with extra rights’

    Sky News Australia – Sep 23, 2020

    The Institute of Public Affairs’ Daniel Wild has spoken about the way the “laws could be used” as discussion over the controversial Omnibus bill continues.

    The Victorian government’s COVID-19 Omnibus Emergency Measures and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 was rushed through the state’s legislative assembly last week.

    The bill – which will last until April 2021 – gives officers the power to detain people whom they perceive to be a high risk person (either with COVID-19 or a close contact) and who refuses to comply with health directives.

    “We know the ways in which these laws could be used,” Mr Wild told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

    “For example, the laws could be used to empower a union official, for example, to indefinitely detain a small business owner, for example, who may just so happen to be in competition with a unionised workforce.”

    “Or it could be used to empower a Labor Party staffer, or a Labor Party operative, to indefinitely detain, for example, a member of the Liberal Party.

    “Indeed the laws could be used in such a way to confer power on Victorians, not based on their public health expertise or any other expertise, but on the colour of their skin.

    “That is almost exactly what the Victorian attorney general suggested when she said that one of the intentions of the laws was to confer power on so called leaders of multicultural communities and multicultural groups.

    “What that means in practice is that these laws will create, for the first time in Australia’s history, a certain class of citizens who will be empowered with extra rights compared to their fellow citizens on the base of their ethnic origin and of their racial background.”

    Sky News Australia

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