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Peter Walsh MP:
Op-ed by Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

State of Emergency powers must only operate under appropriate safeguards, scrutiny and checks and balances.

By Portal Admin - 15th September 2020 - Back to News

Daniel Andrews has launched an unprecedented power grab over the lives of Victorians.

After weeks of speculation, the Premier confirmed on Monday that Labor will put legislation to State Parliament to extend the Government’s State of Emergency powers.

It’s a draconian move that should send a shiver down the spine of every Victorian.

The State of Emergency hands enormous power to the Premier and a small number of unelected officials with very little oversight and accountability.

There’s a reason it’s strictly limited to a maximum of six months – because no government should be able to write itself a blank cheque for extraordinary powers over Victorians’ lives and livelihoods.

But this is exactly what Daniel Andrews wants to do.

Under the State of Emergency powers, the Andrews Labor Government has forced countless Victorian businesses to close indefinitely and put hundreds of thousands of Victorians out of work.

This same power has stopped us getting out hunting, fishing, golfing, horse riding, bush walking, prospecting and 4wding.

It’s effectively shut down the lower house of State Parliament and stopped MPs from being our community’s voice in the halls of power.

It’s brought community sport to a standstill, stopped our kids going to school and from getting their drivers licence.

It’s hamstrung our food supply chain with strict workforce restrictions imposed on meat processors and food distribution centres and led to massive problems with the movement of seasonal farm workers.

There’s no argument that we need to do everything we can to stop the spread of this deadly virus.

But the Liberal Nationals will not support any move by the power-hungry Premier to have open ended control over Victorians’ lives and livelihoods.

With low to zero case numbers in many parts of regional Victoria and active case numbers tracking downwards, we should be looking to a plan to reopen our state as soon as it’s safe to do so – not staring down the barrel of indefinite lockdowns.

We’ve watched as other states settle into a ‘COVID normal’, while Victoria remains the national pariah all because of a second wave that’s been almost entirely linked back to the Andrews Labor Government’s shambolic mismanagement of hotel quarantine in Melbourne.

State of Emergency powers must only operate under appropriate safeguards, scrutiny and checks and balances.

Any attempt by the Andrews Labor Government to give itself indefinite powers is dangerous to our democracy and will not be supported by the Liberal Nationals.

We want to hear from our communities on what you think. To have your say, visit our petition at


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