The Andrews government has met with MPs across the board in an eleven-hour attempt to enforce its controversial law on pandemic powers.
The Andrews government’s law on pandemic powers is still stuck after a meeting with crossbenchers on Friday, but the shadowy justice minister has urged lawmakers to “do what is right” and block “extreme laws”.
At a meeting with several MPs from the upper house, government officials tried to negotiate a compromise with only days left until parliament rises the rest of the year.
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One of the bill’s most controversial points was the restraining powers given to the health minister for those who potentially break pandemic murders.
The meeting between lawmakers across the bench and the government contained no ministers, but included a major concession on restraining powers, according to the Herald Sun.
The government reportedly admitted that improvements could be made to the legislation, which would prompt an independent body to review detention orders.
Despite the meeting, no decision was reached on the currently stalled bill.
The legislation, which passed the lower house in October, would remove the power to declare a pandemic from the Chief Health Officer and give it to the premiere, which could then extend the state of emergency for three-month blocks.
The bill appeared to be passed last week after the government announced changes to the legislation that secured the votes of three crossbenchers – the Greens’ Dr. Samantha Ratnam, Reason Party Fiona Patten and Animal Justice MP Andy Meddick.
But the Andrews government delayed the debate and began renegotiating after former Cabinet Minister Adem Somyurek returned to parliament, declaring he would block the bill.
Following Mr Somyurek’s return, the 11 MPs from the upper house coalition, along with the remaining eight crossbenchers, declared that they would not support the bill in its current state – leaving the government one vote less than the required 21.
Victoria’s shadow lawyer Matt Bach urged his upper house colleagues to “stay strong” and block the bill.
“My message to my upper house colleagues is clear: get strong and do the right thing,” Mr Bach told SkyNews.com.au.
“Labor’s pandemic lockdown laws are a violation of our democracy and will fundamentally jeopardize Victoria’s recovery.
»All of us as members of the Folketing must first and foremost represent our voters. And they are crying out for these extreme laws to be defeated. “
The Andrews government has until December 2 to pass the bill before the existing emergency provisions expire on December 15.
SkyNews.com.au has contacted Attorney-General and Head of Government Legislative Council Jaclyn Symes for comment.