Nationals promise Pandemic Royal Commission
18 November 2021
The Victorian Nationals will hold a Royal Commission into the Victorian Government’s pandemic response if elected to government next year.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan told Parliament this week that Victorians deserved to know the truth.
“We need a Royal Commission to ensure that the lessons from the handling of Covid are learned and the government never makes the same mistakes,” Ms Ryan said.
“Victorians who have lost loved ones, their livelihoods and their freedoms have a right to know how and why decisions were made.”
The call comes after serious concerns were raised by The Victorian Ombudsman, Victorian Bar Council, Melbourne University Law School Professors and the Law Institute of Victoria relating to the government’s extreme pandemic legislation.
“Victorians deserve answers and they deserve the truth,” Ms Ryan said.
“Hundreds of people lost their lives as a result of the Andrews Government’s mishandling of the second wave, millions of people were locked down in their homes and hundreds of thousands of businesses were put on life support.
“We saw botched contact tracing, problem after problem with hotel quarantine, and all we have ever had is denial – from the Premier, from key ministers and from government bureaucrats.
“Melbourne has been locked down longer than any city in the world while Victoria has had the most deaths, daily cases, total cases and active cases of any state in Australia.
“Now we have legislation before Parliament which confers extraordinary powers on the Premier and Health Minister to detain people without judicial review.
“The Victorian Ombudsman has sounded the alarm about this legislation describing the oversight the government is now proposing as ‘inherently a political exercise’.
“A Royal Commission would help provide the answers we need as a community to recover and rebuild from the challenges and conflict of the past two years.”