Victorian governor should wield her constitutional powers: David Flint
The Victorian governor has the power to not only dismiss and appoint, but also to refuse assent or amend bills, a power which she should wield if the Andrews government’s Omnibus bill reaches government house, according to professor David Flint.
The Victorian government’s COVID-19 Omnibus Emergency Measures and Other Acts Amendment Bill was rushed through the state’s legislative assembly, and is set to be voted on in the upper house.
The bill – which will last until April 2021 – gives officers the power to detain people whom they perceive to be a high-risk person (either with COVID-19 or a close contact) and who refuses to comply with health directives.
High profile legal figures want the bill defeated in parliament and key cross benchers have signalled they will oppose the bill. “When this outrageous bill comes to the governor – if it gets through the legislative council – the governor has two rights … the right to propose amendments, and the governor should seek independent advice,” Mr Flint told Sky News.
He said the bill allows for people to be taken away by a “so-called ‘authorised person’ – some apparatchik of the ruling party” and then be held in indefinite detention.