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Victoria Covid-19 down. That’s good. Victoria Dictatorship up. That’s bad

Monday, September 21, 2020

Victorians and all Australians will be pleased to see that the Victorian Covid-19 infection rate is finally falling. This raises hope that the Melbourne and Victorian lockdowns will ease up, enabling the local and national economy to move into recovery. Let’s hope.

However, while the infections are falling, Premier Dan Andrews is extending his dictatorship powers in a big way. The term ‘dictatorship’ is not used flippantly. It accurately describes the ‘Emergency Power’ laws passed in early September. These laws:

  • extended police lockdown enforcement for another 6 months;
  • removed parliamentary oversight of the use of the laws by the state bureaucracy; and
  • enabled the use of the laws even where no Covid-19 infections are happening.
Here’s our YouTube summary of the laws.

But late last week the Victorian government took an additional step introducing further laws (called ‘Covid-19 Omnibus Bill’) that enable:
  • a senior bureaucrat to appoint anyone as a ‘designated officer’;
  • a ‘designated officer’ to arrest and ‘detain’ someone if the officer believes that someone might breach Covid-19 rules. No evidence required!
  • the removal of children from their parents for Covid-19 breaches.
These laws will be in place for 12 months even when/if Covid-19 is not spreading.

There is no question that these are legislated dictatorship powers involving the creation of a new Victorian government/political militia with powers of arbitrary arrest and detention. This fact cannot be ignored.

Many people believe that such laws are necessary to save Victorians from Covid-19 deaths. Certainly this is the persistent message from Premier Andrews reinforced by a wide government advertising campaign. And according to opinion polling, at least 57 per cent of Victorian women support the Andrews Labor government, presumably on this issue.

Others hold a different view. What’s sad, but a typical feature of dictatorships is that neighbours ‘dob in’ neighbours, families feud and fight, some suffer under the laws and others don’t and big sections of the law-abiding community come to fear the police. It’s unsettling to witness the extent to which this is happening in Victoria. Dictatorships are scary because of the distrust and division they intentionally create in a society.

Last week the Victorian government released an additional business support package. Again self-employed people, particularly sole traders, have been dumped with no support. This extends the stated determination of the Andrews Labor government to destroy self-employed people in Victoria (staggering!) It’s further evidence of the intentional creation of social division.

Let us hope for a brighter future. We can but hope.


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