The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says if anyone wanted proof the Andrews Labor Government would do anything; and say anything to seize more power, Victoria’s most senior legal minds have provided it.
Mr Walsh said Victorian Bar president Christopher Blanden QC has warned the Andrews government’s controversial new pandemic legislation will give it “unlimited power to rule the state by decree”.
“At the same time Mr Blanden accused the government of misleading Victorians on the consultation process, saying proper advice was not sought,” Mr Walsh said.
“Misleading, in legal speak, is saying the Premier and his Government have lied about who was involved in the ‘consultation process’.
“Mr Blanden, on behalf of the state’s legal profession, also described the way this proposed law is being rushed through parliament as ‘an attack on democracy’.
“Mr Blanden said under this bill; the Health Minister, in a practical sense, has an effectively unlimited power to rule the state by decree, for effectively an indefinite period, and without effective judicial or parliamentary oversight,” he said.
Mr Blanden has told media this bid to ram such divisive and controversial laws through Parliament “doesn’t add up to good democracy in my book. It’s a disgrace. What’s the urgency”?
“If you’re going to interfere to this degree with people’s basic rights, then there ought to be some reasoned debate about whether it’s justified,” he added. “Not just that you do a deal with a couple of crossbenchers and because you’ve got the numbers you shovel it all through and you effectively stymie debate. It’s quite disgraceful really.
“If the Stasi (the East German secret police) had these powers, they would still be in force,” he said.
Mr Walsh said democracy has already gone out the window in Victoria; with Daniel Andrews “drunk on power” and determined to entrench himself in a position where not just the Parliament itself is at risk, but the individual liberties of every Victorian.
He said this debate was no longer based on the pandemic; it is simply Daniel Andrews using COVID-19 as a smokescreen to hide behind while he destroys the very fabric of our society and trashes the Westminster system by which we are governed.
“Daniel Andrews is staging a coup d’état by stealth and if Victorians and Victoria’s Parliamentarians, all of them, regardless of party, don’t realise that, and realise it fast, it will be a long road back to democracy.”