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Premier Daniel Andrews Seeks To Extend Victoria's State Of Emergency By 12 Months

Premier Daniel Andrews Seeks To Extend Victoria's State Of Emergency By 12 Months

Legislation will be amended to allow the state government to make this extension.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced plans to extend the State of Emergency by another 12 months.

It was due to expire next month, however authorities say the second wave of coronavirus infections isn't over yet and they need to extend the declaration to allow them to keep restrictions in place.

Mr Andrews told a press briefing: "It is not an unlimited extension, it is nothing more than a recognition that this virus won't be over on September 13. I would love nothing more for there to be no need for any rules on September 14, but I don't think that is the reality."

The state government will have to amend legislation as the current rules only permit a State of Emergency lasting for six months at a time.

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 will be changed to allow a State of Emergency declaration to go on for up to 18 months.

The State of Emergency has been extended six times since March, according to 7News.

The Premier continued: "[The State of Emergency] is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants.

"So we simply can't have those important roles in the legal framework that sits behind them, we can't have that end on September 13, because this will not have ended by the 13th of next month.

"We will extend the State of Emergency provisions within the Public Health and Wellbeing act for a maximum of a further 12 months."

This doesn't mean Stage 3 or 4 restrictions will stay in place for the next 12 months. It simply allows state government authorities the power to introduce or take away certain restrictions depending on how the pandemic is tracking.

"To be clear, this is not the state of disaster, not the curfew, for instance, but the other very simple rules that I think I become part of our daily life," he said.

"For instance, if someone has got this virus it is not unreasonable and, in fact, it is absolutely critical that they stay at home and they stay away from other people. That, as logical as it seems, that is not on some honesty policy, there is a legal framework that sits behind it."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia