We present the following information to bring better understanding of the very nature and purpose of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, specifically PART 8–MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MICRO‑ORGANISMS AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS, and PART 10–PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS.
When a Bill is presented to Parliament in Victoria it must have an explanatory memorandum and a Human Rights Compatibility Statement. A statement of compatibility must describe the rights raised by the Bill, whether it is compatible with the Charter and any part of the Bill that may be incompatible. Having this requirement makes Ministers and members of Parliament: consider human rights when it is developing new laws.
In the attached document we have exerts from the Hansard Parliamentary debates of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, specifically the Compatibility Statement, we have specifically focussed on PART 8 & 10 as referenced above. Part 8 is a source of power to impose testing and vaccination on individuals but only on the following belief found in section 113 ~
Chief Health Officer may make examination and testing order relating to infectious disease
(1) The Chief Health Officer may make an examination and testing order if the Chief Health Officer believes that—
(a) a person has an infectious disease or has been exposed to an infectious disease in circumstances where a person is likely to contract the disease; and
(b) if infected with that infectious disease, the person is likely to transmit that disease;
This can only be done according to the following principals.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLBEING ACT 2008 – SECT 111
The following principles apply to the management and control of infectious diseases—
(a) the spread of an infectious disease should be prevented or minimised with the minimum restriction on the rights of any person;
(d) a person who is at risk of contracting, has or suspects he or she may have, an infectious disease is entitled—
(i) to receive information about the infectious disease and any appropriate available treatment;
(ii) to have access to any appropriate available treatment.
Below is the Explanatory Memorandum given to members of parliament prior to debates, Clause 198, 199 & 200 are all relevant but we focus on Clause 200 (The provision the CHO directions are created under) specifically which appears to only be a source of power to detain and restrict ones freedom of movement in respect of an emergency area.
If one compares this to the compatibility statement found below the memorandum statement below you can clearly see Part 10 only limits Freedom of Movement, whereas Part 8 clearly is a source of power not only limit Freedom of Movement but also reasonably impose on the right not be be subjected medical treatment without his or her full free and informed consent. This is because the individual has or has been exposed to the infectious disease or likely to contract it.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLBEING BILL 2008
Public Health and Wellbeing Bill 2008
Division 3--Emergency powers Clause 198 provides that the Minister may, on the advice on the Chief Health Officer and after consultation with the Co-ordinator in Chief and the State Co-ordinator under the Emergency Management Act 1986, declare a state of emergency arising out of circumstances causing a serious risk to public health. The consultation is intended to ensure that if the persons consulted consider it more appropriate for action be taken under the Emergency Management Act 1986 rather than under this Act, that can occur. The clause provides that the Minister may vary the area specified in the declaration after consulting the Co-ordinator in Chief and the State Co-ordinator under the Emergency Management Act 1986. Consultation is not required if the variation has the effect of reducing the emergency area or altering the time the declaration is in force. The clause sets out requirements for the publication by the mass media and in the Government Gazette of the making, varying or revoking of a declaration under this section. It provides that the details to be contained in the declaration must include details of where the state of emergency exists. It provides that a declaration may continue in force for a period not exceeding 4 weeks, and may be extended, but that the total period that a declaration is in force cannot exceed 6 months. It also sets out requirements for the reporting to a Parliament of the making of a declaration under this section. The clause provides that a state of emergency declared under the Act does not derogate from or limit any provisions relating to the declaration of an emergency under any other Act. Clause 199 provides that during a state of emergency the Chief Health Officer may authorise authorised officers to exercise any of the public health risk powers found in section 190 of this Act, or the emergency powers found in section 200, if the Chief Health Officer believes that it is necessary to do so to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health. In these circumstances, the Chief Health Officer may authorise authorised officers appointed by the Secretary, or if specified in the authorisation, may authorise a specified class of authorised officers appointed by a Council or Councils, to exercise any of the public health risk powers or emergency powers. 50
The Chief Health Officer may at any time revoke or vary an authorisation made under this section. Clause 200 sets out the emergency powers able to be exercised in an emergency and requirements regarding the exercise of emergency powers. These powers enable authorised officers to detain persons in the emergency area, restrict the movement of persons within the emergency area, prevent persons from entering the emergency area and give any direction reasonably necessary to protect public health. Authorised officers must explain, if practicable, the reasons for detention to the detained person. If a person is subject to detention under this section, an authorised officer must at least once every 24 hours review whether the continued detention of the person is reasonably necessary. An authorised officer must give written notice to the Chief Health Officer of a decision to detain a person, and a decision to continue to detain a person after reviewing the detention after 24 hours. This is intended to enable the Chief Health Officer to monitor the appropriateness of the action given the nature of the risk to public health. The Chief Health Officer must as soon as received in accordance with this section.
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