Destinations

“Unprecedented” proposed laws give Victorian Premier Dan Andrews power to declare pandemics

Victoria is reportedly set to give Premier Dan Andrews sweeping new powers to declare pandemics and enforce public health orders for months at a time.

The proposed laws, which have been seen by ABC News, are designed to replace Victoria’s state of emergency powers and give the premier the ability to make “pandemic declarations” that can be extended for three months at a time with unlimited duration.

The new powers will also give Victoria’s health minister the ability to sign off on public health orders instead of the chief health officer.

Andrews told ABC News the new laws reflected the state governments learnings throughout the pandemic so far.

“When you’re in this stage of this pandemic, you need to have a broader focus, and that’s exactly what these new arrangements will underpin,” he said.

“They also set us up, having learnt many things along the journey, for whatever that next pandemic might look like, whenever that might be into the future.”

State opposition leader Matthew Guy said the legislation is “the most extreme” in any state or territory and places “unprecedented” power in the hands of one person.

“We see these laws as an incredible attack on democracy, usurping the parliament, usurping the cabinet process, which is what exists in New South Wales, and then allowing the premier to effectively rule by decree, for months on end,” Guy told ABC News.

“In short, this bill is the most extreme of its kinds that we’ve seen in Australia. While a pandemic requires different approaches, it doesn’t require a law as extreme as this.”

However, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told Sky News the new legislation was modelled on New Zealand and NSW and would position the state government to become the “most accountable, transparent, and public health-focused system” in the country.

“Under the updated pandemic management framework, the chief health officer’s public health advice will, in fact, be more central, more transparent and more present in the public debate than ever,” he said.

According to Foley, the declaration of a pandemic can be made for four weeks initially, but can be extended “for a three month period until the pandemic no longer represents a serious risk to the community”.

The new laws will include an independent committee of public health and human rights experts to review public health orders, which must be made public and tabled in parliament so the reasons behind the decisions can be understood by the public.

With the travel ban lifting on 1 November, NSW and Victoria have both promised to scrap quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers from that date.


Featured image source: YouTube/ABC News (Australia)



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas proposes scrapping bonuses if it is “harmed”

Qantas has copped some bad press lately, but the silver lining is it’s a great excuse for Alan Joyce to get a nice makeover!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX mid-air emergencies revealed in new investigation

Surprisingly the investigation came from the ABC and not from Air Crash Investigation, which kind of puts the show to shame a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Western travel agents banned from booking Hajj pilgrimage

Those looking to complete Hajj will have to enter the Hajj lottery, which you are still astronomically more likely to win than the actual lottery.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments