Victoria Pandemil bill delayed as Daniel Andrews government tries to find yet another crossbench vote

The Andrews government has successfully put forward a proposal to delay the vote on the Pandemic Act as they seek the support of yet another MP with the current ballot draw of 20-all.

The Andrews government has put the handbrake on the vote on the Victorian pandemic law as they struggle to find a minister more to pass the controversial legislation in the upper house after a Member of Parliament dropped a bomb.

Former Labor spokesman Adem Somyurek successfully applied for a suspension on Wednesday after being barred from disclosing his vaccination status and indicating less than 24 hours before the vote that he would vote against the bill.

He argued that the powers would give too much authority to Prime Minister Daniel Andrews in what was “essentially an optional dictatorship”.

The government successfully put forward a proposal to delay the bill despite Advocate General Jaclyn Symes declaring it “urgent” just a few days ago.

It will give them more time to find support across ahead of the debate, which is supposed to resume on Friday.

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But crossbench MPs have expressed their frustration over last-minute communications from those in need of legislation.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Jeff Bourman said that “no event took the time to pretend to consult with us”.

Transport issues MP Rod Barton was disappointed that there was no “professional courtesy” regarding the bill.

“What we have said to the government on many occasions is that they obviously do not have to do what I say, but they must have the professional courtesy to at least listen to what we have to say because I have had tens of thousands of people contact my office and these people have been denied a vote, “he said.

Andrews was asked why his government had only negotiated with three MPs – Green leader Samantha Ratnam, Animal Justice MP Andy Meddick and Reason Party Fiona Patten – on the legislation.

“I do not necessarily accept that criticism, and again, I am not here to comment on individual members of the House,” he said during a COVID-19 press conference Thursday.

“We want to get involved, we always do, and I am convinced that we can solve all these problems.

“Some rules will be very important how we treat and protect and protect people who have got the virus from giving it to the people they love, all these things require a legal framework.

He believes that those in the upper house “know and understand” the importance of the bill and are “sure” of a result.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy said his government was ready to work with Andrews to come up with a “sensible piece of legislation”.

“Again, I give the hand of the Liberal and National Parties the hand of cooperation to work with the government to get sensible legislation through Parliament,” he said.

If the government is unable to pass the bill before the expiry of the powers of emergency on December 15, they will not be able to enforce any pandemic orders.

HOW MPS WILL VOTE

TO

Labor force: 17

Crossbench: 3 (Reason Party Fiona Patten, Greens Samantha Ratnam, Animal Justice Andy Meddick)

AGAINST

Coalition: 11

Crossbench: 9 (Independents’ Adem Somyurek and Catherine Cumming, Transport Matters Party Rodney Barton, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Jeff Bourman, Derryn Hinchs Justice Party Stuart Grimley and Tania Maxwell, Sustainable Australia’s Clifford Hayes and Liberal Democrats David Limbrick and Tim Quilty) .

A draw would mean that the bill would be reintroduced in the lower house.

Sir. Andrews is still adamant that the legislation will be passed in the upper house on Thursday after the changes.

Hundreds of protesters are expected to gather with dozens already on the steps of the state parliament Thursday morning.

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