The Daniel Andrews’ government has successfully bought itself time by delaying debate of its pandemic management Bill after a late scramble to regain its footing as controversial Ex-Labor MP Adem Somyurek seeks to sink the legislation.
The vote to delay the motion until later this afternoon was upheld 20-17 with Somyurek not present to vote.
I hear Dan Andrews suddenly doesn’t feel the need to URGENTLY vote on his bill today.
I wonder what changed.
— Avi Yemini 🇦🇺🇮🇱 (@OzraeliAvi) November 17, 2021
Well it looks like that’s it for the Pandemic Bill for today. Government moved to delay debate and the motion succeeded. Would have preferred to continue on and #killthebill
— David Limbrick MP (@_davidlimbrick) November 18, 2021
Somyurek was set to make his spectacular return to Victorian parliament today after a stunning turn of events yesterday saw the firebrand politician poised to block his former party’s controversial pandemic laws.
Somyurek last night contributed an article to the Herald Sun outlining his reasons for making his stunning return to parliament, as he seeks to throw a spanner in the Daniel Andrews’ government’s plans which have seen tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets to voice their opposition to the plan.
At this morning’s press conference, Premier Daniel Andrews also announced the government will be lifting ‘almost all’ restrictions for ‘fully-vaccinated’ Victorians.
— Avi Yemini 🇦🇺🇮🇱 (@OzraeliAvi) November 18, 2021
Somyurek outlined that the Bill amendments have the Andrews’ regime “essentially an elective dictatorship”, warning that the power was too much for a government to hold, saying that it could lead to a “tyranny of rule by decree”.
“Our system was created before the advent of disciplined modern political parties,” Somyurek wrote in the article.
“Therefore, the parliamentary accountability mechanism was effective because MPs were able to be persuaded by the merits of each issue under consideration.
But parliamentary accountability has declined to such an extent that it ceased to exist in lower houses with the advent of disciplined modern political parties. Accountability of the executive only exists in the upper house, where the government does not control the numbers in that chamber.
Where it does, our parliamentary system is essentially an elective dictatorship.”
Protesters hit the streets for the fourth consecutive night last night to express their grave concerns for the additional powers the amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 grant State governments now and into the future.
— real Rukshan (@therealrukshan) November 17, 2021
There was a huge sense of excitement building last night as protesters learned the news of Somyurek’s return to vote on the Bill.
The upper house vote, scheduled for today, was poised to pass the Bill amendments with the support of three crossbench MPs it secured a deal with earlier in the week.
But Somyurek’s return for just the second time since June last year means the Andrews’ government will fall short of a majority, providing the eight other crossbenchers vote against the Bill as indicated.