Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes has voted against the State Government’s latest State of Emergency bid, citing the urgent need for specific legislation to deal with the pandemic.

Mr Hayes also questioned why the Government has not come up with COVID-specific legislation, considering it has been about 12 months since the first lockdown.

“This repeated overreach of emergency powers is now offending peoples’ deeply held sense of personal liberty,” Mr Hayes said.

“The Government has now had a year to come up with COVID specific legislation, but out of sheer arrogance, hasn’t bothered to do so—instead relying on some Crossbench Members to renew these war-time-like powers.

“Considering the size of the State Government and the breathtaking levels of bureaucracy, there is no excuse for this lack of specific legislation."

Mr Hayes said the Government had a questionable record wielding the unprecedented

“Under the State of Emergency, the Government manned these hotspot hotels with
untrained security guards and ordered for a snap lockdown of the Flemington Towers—a
move described as a breach of human rights by the Ombudsman.

“It’s fair to say that both of these things may not have happened if they were subjected to
Parliamentary scrutiny,

Mr Hayes added that the Crossbench “deal” was particularly strange.

“How can some Members of the Crossbench justify negotiating the Government down to a six month extension last time, but now be fine with nine months even though we know much more about how to manage COVID outbreaks.”