Parliament COVID-19

Labor guilty of using COVID to cancel Parliament

01 September 2021

The Andrews Labor Government has cancelled the sitting of Victoria’s Parliament for a second week, preventing any scrutiny or debate of government decisions.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Nationals leader Steph Ryan travelled to Parliament yesterday to call for the return of democracy.

“Now that Daniel Andrews has his emergency powers, he has locked the doors of Victoria’s Parliament,” Ms Ryan said.

“Under the state of emergency powers Labor MPs and crossbenchers voted to give Daniel Andrews, authorised officers can detain any person or group for as long as reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health.

“Daniel Andrews is also empowered to ask authorised officers to restrict the movement of any person within Victoria and prevent any person or group from entering Victoria.

“The Parliament is supposed to act as a check on the power of the executive: on the Premier, his Ministers and unelected bureaucrats. Every Victorian should be concerned about the cancellation of Parliament at a time when the Premier is wielding such extreme powers.

“In the simplest terms Daniel Andrews’ decision to cancel the Parliament without a bleat from his backbench says Victorian Labor no longer believes in representative democracy.

“The Andrews Government has become dictatorial. They are using COVID as a mechanism to avoid any scrutiny or explanation of their actions.

“The Parliament sat last September, when there were more COVID cases in Victoria and we were in the middle of a stage 4 lockdowns.”

Ms Ryan said the political motivation for Labor’s refusal to recall Parliament was on show this weekend when government ministers travelled to Shepparton.

“Jaclyn Symes travelled to Shepparton where the COVID situation is not under control in order to hold a press conference, but Victorian MPs have been told it’s too dangerous to come to Parliament and be a voice for their communities,” Ms Ryan said.

“The fact that Labor ministers are travelling into COVID hotspots while the rest of us are told to stay home shows Andrews and his ministers are drunk on power.

“Every day I am receiving distressed emails and phone calls from people who are asking the government for a plan out of lockdowns.

“Daniel Andrews must immediately restore the Parliament and allow the voices of these people to be heard.”

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