Curfew legal advice must be released

The Chief Health Officer (CHO), told Neil Mitchell on Tuesday this week that the unprecedented and restrictive Melbourne metropolitan curfew was implemented pursuant to the State of Disaster, he said, “the curfew came in as part of the state of disaster”.

This is wrong. The curfew was implemented pursuant to the State of Emergency powers which the CHO possesses (see Direction No. 14, 5 (1AF), p.4).

It beggars belief that the CHO does not understand the powers being exercised in his name.

The CHO said the curfew was not his idea, he also told Neil Mitchell, “I was consulted on it, but it was a separate decision-making pathway”.

This despite the repeated statements by Daniel Andrews and his ministers that the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place are based on health advice from the CHO.

The Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police on Thursday told Neil Mitchell “we never requested a curfew” and that Victoria Police was not consulted prior to its implementation.

Daniel Andrews has now admitted with regards to the curfew, “I’ve made that decision” despite this power not being his to exercise.

Many senior legal experts are now questioning the lawfulness of this and other directives made pursuant to the State of Emergency and the State of Disaster.

The curfew is doing unnecessary damage and does not need to be in place. It’s not there on health advice, it’s not there on police advice, and the curfew must go.

Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:

“The Andrews Labor Government has become a shambolic rabble that doesn’t even understand who has the power to implement its punitive and restrictive lockdown regime.

With real questions about the legal validity of his Soviet-style curfew, Daniel Andrews’ must urgently release any legal advice he has from the Solicitor-General or other sources to confirm the legality of his lockdown regime.”

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