Victoria Emergency Bill Set to Hit State Parliament

By AAP
August 31, 2020 Updated: August 31, 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is believed to have garnered enough support to pass a revised six-month extension to state of emergency powers.

With the state of emergency provisions to expire on September 13, the Andrews government has been in talks to win over wary crossbenchers.

The premier had wanted 12 months but he will likely have to compromise ahead of parliament voting on the amendment when it returns on Sept 1.

Key crossbencher Fiona Patten has indicated she could get behind a sixth-month extension, but only if the state of emergency is justified to the minor parties and independents once a month.

Victoria’s police, doctors, nurses and paramedics unions have all publicly called for the powers to be extended.

On Monday, Andrews reiterated discussions with the crossbench were ongoing.

Labor will have to pass the bill without the backing of ex-party factional powerbroker Adem Somyurek, who said he will abstain from voting on any bills until a corruption watchdog probe is finalised over alleged branch stacking.

Melbourne is subject to another 12 days of strict stage four restrictions, including an 8pm to 5am curfew and a ban on travelling beyond a 5km radius of home.

Regional Victoria is under slightly less strict stage three restrictions.

Meanwhile, lockdown-weary Victorians will soon be given a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, with the state government’s “reopening roadmap” to be unveiled on Sunday.

But Andrews has refused to say if restrictions will end on September 13.

The announcement came as Victoria recorded 73 new cases – its lowest daily figure for nine weeks – and 41 additional deaths.

It was Australia’s worst daily death toll, but only eight were new.

The rest were aged care fatalities from prior to August 27 that were reconciled with the state health department on Sunday, the premier clarified.

Melbourne