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The Ominous Bill

Many of you have expressed your concern with the Victorian Governments Omnibus Bill and its looming expansion and extension. You have every right to be concerned because in essence, these changes elevate regulations above Acts, or in other words un-elected regulations become supreme.

It alters who can exercise emergency powers as well as adds to them. DHHS can appoint “authorised officers” to enforce emergency powers to arrest a “high risk” person who they have “reasonable” cause to believe are “likely” to refuse a directive.

Let us unpack that here:-

  • An “authorised officer” no longer needs to meet certain criteria that would qualify them as a health professional.

  • “Likely” and “reasonable” are terms not defined by law and therefore open to interpretation by the “authorised officer”.

  • A “high risk” person is someone that has been “diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not been given clearance from self-isolation OR they have been notified that they are in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.”

"So, technically anyone can be an authorised officer and use their own interpretation of the non-defined terms making it possible that anyone who is NOT covid-19 positive could be detained and held indefinitely, purely on suspicion."

Detainment for a pre-emptive crime sounds like something from Nazi Germany and that is because it was. Yet this is technically what the Victorian Government is insisting on, under the guise it is in the best interests of public health.

We see it as false imprisonment and the Victorian Government has already undertaken this when they chose to detain large groups of people in a number of public housing estates in Melbourne earlier this year. This was a manifestation of the Omnibus Bill; a test-run of what is to come.

We are pleased to advise you that in tandem with the National Class Action, we are also issuing proceedings against the Victoria Police, the Victorian Government and the Deputy Chief Health Officer for the False Imprisonment of those individuals in the public housing towers in Melbourne. Here we will be challenging the same issues that need challenging in the Omnibus Bill.

"We see no valid purpose or justification to introduce such extreme powers and as we were privy to the terrible impacts of those detained residents, we will strongly challenge these."

The Bill has already passed the lower house and is headed for debate in the upper house this month. While Advocate Me will raise a legal challenge, you can try to convince your MPs to stop it being passed.

For this purpose, the Australian Health Party have put together an excellent site and form where you can appeal to the crossbenchers and MPs to either vote against the bill or to remove Clause 16 completely.

So if you feel compelled to do something now, we encourage you to visit and complete their form today.

Once again, let us unify and demonstrate our growing power in numbers.

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It is hard to believe that such a bill would even be contemplated in the first place, let alone being put forward and having passed the Victorian Lower House already! Where did we, as a people, go wrong? Have we been asleep or simply did not care enough about politics and laws? I could plead guilty on the latter.

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