The Labor Government moved a motion on Thursday to delay the debate to secure Premier Daniel Andrews more time to pick off only one more cross bencher after Mr Somyurek revealed he would block the legislation.
With the Andrews Government now scrambling to negotiate an additional vote before Parliament sits again in two weeks, Mr Somyurek said he could not be “bought off”.
Stream more pandemic power updates on Flash
“I’m probably the only MP in this place that cannot be bought off,” he told reporters on Friday.
“I’m not going to stand again so nobody can buy me off.”
Mr Somyurek, who successfully applied to have his suspension lifted on Wednesday after he was banned for failing to disclose his vaccination status, told the Herald Sun his intention to block passage of the bill.
Andrews’ controversial pandemic bill in ‘complete shambles’
His decision left the government one vote short in the Legislative Council after previously securing three lone crossbenchers from the Greens, the Animal Justice Party and the Reason Party
Mr Somyurek said on Wednesday the powers would give too much authority to what was “essentially an elective dictatorship”.
“The pandemic Bill gives too much power to the government and risks our state being unjustly governed by a despot,” the former Labor powerbroker said.
Mr Somyurek was sacked from the Cabinet last year and removed from the ALP following allegations that he was involved in wide-spread factional branch stacking which emerged during a 60 Minutes investigation.
His return to Parliament came one day after the Premier agreed on seven amendments with the three crossbenchers.
The amendments included halving the maximum financial penalty, axing the reference to the equal opportunity act and mandating that public health advice is released sooner.
Daniel Andrews ‘outplayed’ by Somyurek on pandemic powers bill
While the Coalition – with 11 votes in the upper house – and the remaining nine crossbenchers – including Mr Somyurek – have declared their opposition to the bill, Liberal leader Matthew Guy left the door open for negotiation.
Mr Guy has confirmed the Opposition will work with the Andrews Government to streamline emergency powers but will not hand the “power drunk” Premier a blank cheque.
“We’re happy to help when it comes to something to make a better process for the state but we’re not going to hand over a blank cheque to a government that’s already drunk on power,” Mr Guy told Sky News Australia’s Peta Credlin.
The proposed bill would remove the power to declare a pandemic from the Chief Health Officer and hand it to the Premier, along with the ability to extend the state of emergency in three-month blocks.
The Health Minister will also be able to introduce “pandemic orders” – without proper parliamentary approval – which carry a penalty of up to two years in jail for those caught breaching the orders.
The existing emergency provisions are set to expire on December 15.

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