Lawyers have urged Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to adopt recommendations for “effective, independent oversight” of proposed pandemic management laws, saying the current bill confers too much power to the government.
The Andrews government is locked in last-ditch talks to secure crossbench support for the controversial legislation as it goes to a vote in the Upper House.
President of the Law Institute of Victoria, Tania Wolff, told Sky News Australia recommendations have been made to make the bill “fit for purpose”.
“We have provided a number of recommendations in relation to the changes that we think will make it fit for purpose,” she said.
“Those include provisions to allow for independent, effective oversight, external oversight of pandemic orders.
“Essentially, there are measures that can be made, and provisions that can be made in the bill, for effectively, independent oversight of the bill.
“Right now, you have a bill that confers extensive power on the executive.
“Previously, as everyone knows, that power was in the hands of the chief health officer to be able to make those orders and the idea of having that power vested in an accountable executive to parliament and to the public through the election process is a better option.”