NSW COVID Emergency Powers Call Delayed | Liverpool City Champion
The Premier of New South Wales has postponed a call to extend the state’s emergency powers in the event of a pandemic until next year, as protesters in Victoria rally against similar laws considered by their parliament.
The NSW government this week considered a proposal to extend some emergency powers until the next election in March 2023, according to reports from The Australian.
The laws have allowed Health Minister Brad Hazzard to issue broad public health orders, such as those used to restrict gatherings, limit travel, or impose masks or vaccination in certain settings.
Mr Hazzard, on behalf of Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Kerry Chant, has reportedly argued that some of the powers would be essential if the state experiences larger epidemics.
It is understood that he particularly wanted the power to require quarantine or self-isolation for those exposed to COVID-19 to be extended.
Mr Hazzard on Tuesday evening rejected suggestions he was seeking to expand the powers given to the Minister of Health.
“Far from granting additional powers, the powers are exactly the same as they currently exist and are just adjustments to the timing of two provisions of the massive public health law,” he said in a statement. communicated.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has said he will delay the decision to extend powers – or any amendment to them – until 2022.
“Only health provisions that need to be extended will be extended,” Perrottet said in a statement.
“I will be examining this matter carefully over the summer vacation.”
It comes as protesters in Victoria have once again camped outside that state’s parliament, which is currently considering a bill extending emergency powers.
The Victorian bill has become a lightning rod for anti-containment and anti-vaccination groups, with hundreds of protesters planning to occupy the steps of Parliament for the duration of the debate.
Video posted to social media shows protesters gathered around a wooden gallows chanting “Kill Dan Andrews” and “Hang Dan Andrews” as they attempt to place the head of a Prime Minister’s inflatable doll through the noose .
Meanwhile, unions are fighting the NSW government’s plan to end automatic COVID workers compensation coverage for exposed workers.
Mr Perrottet this week announced his intention to remove a provision from the workers’ compensation law that presumes frontline workers who test positive have contracted the virus while on duty.
NSW union secretary Mark Morey urged the government to drop its repeal of the provision, arguing that it would be nearly impossible for workers to prove they have contracted the virus on the job.
Otherwise, he calls on interbank deputies to “block the attack on workers’ rights”.
âIt’s a nasty, nasty bill that says to every worker who has kept the economy going, ‘You are alone,'” he said.
The government estimates that continued coverage could result in 25,000 more claims over the next 12 months, forcing insurance premiums to rise by an average of $ 950.
Claims related to COVID-19 could cost the workers’ compensation system up to $ 638 million over the coming year.
On the other hand, Business NSW supports the repeal of the legislation, saying small businesses will not be able to defend unfounded claims made against them.
Some 212 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New South Wales on Tuesday, along with two more deaths.
The state is approaching its goal of 95% double-dose vaccination, with 94.2% of people over 16 having received a vaccine.
Just over 91% of adults are fully immunized.
Associated Australian Press