Skip navigation

Government backdown on Omnibus Bill welcome


The Victorian Greens welcome the significant changes proposed by the Government to the controversial elements of its Omnibus Bill. It has finally listened to our concerns and those of the community.

The overreach in giving police and PSOs powers of detention for public health purposes was both unnecessary and dangerous. We are glad the government has seen sense on this issue and removed the pre-emptive detention powers and are specifically limiting the powers of police and PSOs as Authorised Officers.

However, the Greens remain very concerned about the role of police in managing the pandemic. The over-policing of First Nations people, the Sudanese community and other vulnerable groups risks undermining the public health response to the pandemic. We need enthusiastic participation from Victoria’s many diverse communities and for that we need a health-led, not a force-led response.

We also note there remain broad powers of detention available to the Chief Health Officer and these need to be used sparingly and as a last resort.

We will carefully consider the changes put forward by the government today.

Quotes attributable to Tim Read MP, Victorian Greens Health spokesperson:

“The Government’s welcome backdown on its Omnibus Bill today addresses many of the concerns I raised when I spoke to the Bill a fortnight ago.

In particular I welcome the fact that police and PSOs will now not be allowed to exercise powers of detention. Police will no longer be on the unenviable position of being both judge and gaoler.

The Greens have consistently backed the Government’s public health response to the pandemic but have strongly argued it shouldn’t be used to expand police powers.”

 

Sign up for my newsletter here. 

profile image
Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick
7 October 2020
SHARE:

THE LATEST NEWS

BLOG

My vision for Brunswick

A lot has changed since I was elected in 2018. But my vision for Brunswick remains one where you can easily walk to a beautiful green space, safely ride your bike to the shops, or hop onto frequent, accessible public transport - perhaps to catch a gig on Sydney Rd. ...

BLOG

Breathing new life into Melbourne Cemetery

Thousands of people pass by or through Melbourne General Cemetery every day, but we aren’t treating it as a precious inner-city open space. Much of it is very dry and degraded, with minimal vegetation, and many old graves are in disrepair. It could be much better.

BLOG

Skyrail is coming to Brunswick

It’s official: Brunswick will get a skyrail like Coburg some time in the next five years. So what can we expect? 

BLOG

The government should go further and faster on COVID

If something terrible happens on Friday night and you call an ambulance, how long will it take to arrive? That’s not normally a concern for those of us living in the inner city, but this year ambulances have too often been unable to get to serious emergencies on time. We...


MORE ISSUES