Controversial legislation is due to be tabled in Victoria which would grant the Premier an unprecedented level of power.
The Emergency Powers bill will enter the Lower House on Tuesday, where it will likely succeed. It is expected to replace existing emergency powers.
In an extraordinary move, the detail of the bill has been kept secret from the public. MPs have taken to social media to complain that they are only being briefed on the bill the night before voting on it, despite the bill's extremely serious contents.
It has been rumoured that if the legislation succeeds, the Victorian premier will be able to declare a pandemic even if there are no cases within Victoria.
The legislation does not require the premier to meet any standards or conditions to declare an emergency, allowing a state of emergency to be created in three month blocks for as long as the premier deems it necessary.
In other words, a permanent state of emergency could be created by the premier even if there was no outbreak.
The bill has created an immediate outcry from those concerned that emergency legislation will set up a permanent parallel legal system in Australia, denying Victorians access to their expected rights even after Covid is finished.