This week on Done By Law we look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021.
After being introduced into parliament on 26 October 2021, the new laws proposed by this bill have led to recent Melbourne protests and some extreme rhetoric, including threats of harm to sitting members of parliament, associated with right-wing extremists. Members of the legal community have produced a more nuanced analysis of both the benefits of the Bill, and also how it could be improved. The Bill’s passage into law was frustrated last week, and the government passed a motion to postpone debate so that further negotiations can take place. The government has said that it must pass new legislation before 15 December, when the current state of emergency expires.
We’re lucky to be joined by Gregory Buchhorn from Liberty Victoria, who will talk us through the bill. Liberty Victoria is a peak civil liberties organisation in Australia, and has been working to defend and extend human rights and freedoms in Victoria since 1936. Its members include lawyers, policy and advocacy experts, businesspeople, academics, community activists and students.