August 10, 2022

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Home » Sixth MP quits Dictator Dan Andrews Labor Government in less than a week

Sixth MP quits Dictator Dan Andrews Labor Government in less than a week

3 min read
Sixth MP quits Dictator Dan Andrews Labor Government in less than a week

Northern Victoria MP Mark Gepp confirmed he will not be seeking re-election in 2022.

Gepp joins five others: Lara MP John Eren, Richmond MP Richard Wynne, Altona MP Jill Hennessy, Ringwood MP Dustin Halse, and Yan Yean MP Danielle Green all announced that they would not be seeking re-election in 2022.

On Thursday, the Victorian premier aka chairman Dan had to rely on the support of crossbenchers to get his controversial pandemic bill through parliament after a 21-hour debate.

Despite the Bill being protested by Victorians, dictator Dan went ahead with it anyway.

The new bill will now take effect on December 16 after it passed the upper house by a thin margin of 20 votes to 18.

Transport Matters MP Rod Barton, Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick, Reason Party MP Fiona Patten and Greens leader Samantha Ratnam voted with the government to make the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill law.

The bill gives the premier and health minister – rather than the chief health officer – the power to declare a pandemic.

They will also enforce restrictions during a health crisis when Victoria’s state of emergency laws expire in two weeks.

The legislation became a focal point for Victorian’s who have occupied the steps of state parliament for weeks in protest.

Protesters slammed the proposed bill as ‘dangerous legislation’ that gives premier Dan Andrews way too much power.

With strong opposition to the legislation, chairman dan was made to make a raft of last-minute changes in order to win over key crossbench MPs and push it through parliament.

Under the new bill, the premier can declare a health emergency and lockdown the state in three-month blocks for as long as he likes.

The original legislation would also have seen a range of even more unprecedented powers handed to the premier and health minister Martin Foley.

But harsher financial penalties for breaching public orders were being cut in half and the timeframe to release public information about pandemic decisions ordered by the government was also drastically shortened.

The changes require ‘reasonable grounds’ for the premier to declare a pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Under the older version of the bill, there didn’t even need to be a single case of the disease in Victoria for the powers to be implemented.

The government will also be compelled to publish their public health advice before enforcing stay-at-home orders within seven days – down from two weeks.

While the maximum $90,500 fine for breaking health orders has been halved, but a heavy two-year jail sentence is still part of the legislation.

Changes to the Bill also restrict the government of the day from making public health orders which differentiate between groups of people.

In the wake of the bill being passed, Northern Victorian MP Mark Gepp took to social media to confirm he would be quitting at the next election after four years in parliament. 

‘This job is without question a great privilege and it has been one of the highlights of my 35-year career in the Labor movement,’ Gepp posted on Twitter .

Last week Andrews’ Labor government lost five MPs in just three days when the Premier announced former minister John Eren wouldn’t contest the next election. Followed by Richmond MP Richard Wynne, Altona MP Jill Hennessy, Ringwood MP Dustin Halse, and Yan Yean MP Danielle Green.

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