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Vic omnibus bill passes upper house

Victoria's amended coronavirus omnibus bill is set to become law after passing through the upper house in a late-night sitting. The opposition tried to add an...
Victoria's amended coronavirus omnibus bill is set to become law after passing through the upper house in a late-night sitting. The opposition tried to add an amendment that would have scrapped Melbourne's 5km radius rule but that failed. The omnibus bill passed around 2am on Wednesday in the Legislative Council after weeks of negotiations between the government and crossbenchers. There was widespread concern about controversial powers to detain Victorians over public health orders. But crossbenchers succeeded in having those measures taken out of the legislation. The bill will now go to the lower house, where Labor has a strong majority. Despite the amendments, upper house opposition leader David Davis said its authorised officer powers remained too great. "What is it about the government that they want more and more powers?" he said. "Why does (Premier) Daniel Andrews need these greater powers? Every bill he brings to parliament, he's grabbing for more powers. The Public Health and Wellbeing Act is already a very powerful act. "We need the details behind every one of these public health decisions ... that would build trust with Victorians. On Tuesday night, a no-confidence motion against Mr Andrews failed after the government dismissed it as "cheap politics". The Liberal-National coalition on Tuesday moved a no-confidence motion against the premier over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It failed by 44 votes to 23 in the lower house. But Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley said it was "absolutely" worthwhile. "The support we had from Victorians through this process has been extraordinary," she said. "They wanted to see the government held to account. "They want to see them say sorry for the second wave, take responsibility for causing that second wave, but they also want hope and what we're not seeing from this government is the path out." "They also want to see a clear plan, not this roadmap that was never going to work with those targets and now we're left in limbo of not knowing what's coming." Australian Associated Press

Victoria's amended coronavirus omnibus bill is set to become law after passing through the upper house in a late-night sitting.

The opposition tried to add an amendment that would have scrapped Melbourne's 5km radius rule but that failed.

The omnibus bill passed around 2am on Wednesday in the Legislative Council after weeks of negotiations between the government and crossbenchers.

There was widespread concern about controversial powers to detain Victorians over public health orders.

But crossbenchers succeeded in having those measures taken out of the legislation.

The bill will now go to the lower house, where Labor has a strong majority.

Despite the amendments, upper house opposition leader David Davis said its authorised officer powers remained too great.

"What is it about the government that they want more and more powers?" he said.

"Why does (Premier) Daniel Andrews need these greater powers? Every bill he brings to parliament, he's grabbing for more powers. The Public Health and Wellbeing Act is already a very powerful act.

"We need the details behind every one of these public health decisions ... that would build trust with Victorians.

On Tuesday night, a no-confidence motion against Mr Andrews failed after the government dismissed it as "cheap politics".

The Liberal-National coalition on Tuesday moved a no-confidence motion against the premier over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It failed by 44 votes to 23 in the lower house.

But Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley said it was "absolutely" worthwhile.

"The support we had from Victorians through this process has been extraordinary," she said.

"They wanted to see the government held to account.

"They want to see them say sorry for the second wave, take responsibility for causing that second wave, but they also want hope and what we're not seeing from this government is the path out."

"They also want to see a clear plan, not this roadmap that was never going to work with those targets and now we're left in limbo of not knowing what's coming."

Australian Associated Press

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