October 5, 2022 12:16 pm

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Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria’s State of Emergency will be extended to 18 MONTHS and strict lockdown will continue in September after another 15 coronavirus deaths overnight

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Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria’s State of Emergency will be extended to 18 MONTHS and strict lockdown will continue in September after another 15 coronavirus deaths overnight

By LAUREN FERRI and CHARLIE MOORE

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the State of Emergency will be in place for 18 months and lockdown restrictions will be extended beyond September.

This is despite the state recording its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional deaths on Monday.

Mr Andrews said the state could not afford to lower the restrictions, and would extend the State of Emergency to 18 months in September, giving the government the power to impose further lockdown restrictions.

‘It is not an unlimited extension, it is nothing more than a recognition that this virus won’t be over on September 30,’ the premier said.

‘I would love nothing more for there to be no need for any rules on September 14, but I don’t think that is the reality.’

While the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 only allows a State of Emergency to operate for six months, the premier said amendments are being made to change it.

This is to ensure restrictions such as mandatory masks and the strict lockdown can continue to be implemented throughout the state.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that the State of Emergency will be in place for 18 months and lockdown restrictions will be extended beyond September

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that the State of Emergency will be in place for 18 months and lockdown restrictions will be extended beyond September 

While the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 only allows a State of Emergency to operate for six months, the premier said amendments are being made to change it. Pictured: COVID testing at a drive through clinic in Ballarat

While the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 only allows a State of Emergency to operate for six months, the premier said amendments are being made to change it.

Victoria reported its lowest rise in COVID-19 infections in seven weeks with 116 new cases and 15 additional fatalities on Monday. Pictured: Collins St in Melbourne's CBD quiet and deserted on August 23

Mr Andrews said the state could not afford to lower the restrictions, and would extend the State of Emergency to 18 months in September. Pictured: A person wearing a face mask walks past Victoria Police, Airforce and ADF personnel outside of the Melbourne Museum

Mr Andrews said the state could not afford to lower the restrictions, and would extend the State of Emergency to 18 months in September.

 

‘That is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants,’ he said.

‘Things like a positive person, someone who has got this virus, and required to isolate at home.’

‘We will extend the state of emergency provisions within the public health and well-being act for a maximum of a further 12 months.’

Mr Andrews said the decision to ask parliament to extend the restrictions was about ‘protecting everyone’ in Victoria.

‘They will need to be in place after September 13. I wish that wasn’t the case. Even if there had not been a second wave these rules would still need to be in place,’ he said.

‘Because there is not a jurisdiction in the world that is going to just be going back to absolute normal, where there are no limits on restaurants, no limits in cafes, no masks at all, no need to isolate if you’ve actually got this.’

‘All of those very commonsense provisions they need when you’re beyond the 13 September. The law doesn’t quite provide for that. We want to make a change.’

If there is no vaccine within 12 months, the state’s restrictions may have to be extended again.

Medical staff conduct a COVID-19 test on a patient at the drive through coronavirus testing facility in Ballarat on Friday
Medical staff conduct a COVID-19 test on a patient at the drive through coronavirus testing facility in Ballarat on Friday

 

It comes as halfway through lockdown, Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton has defiantly declared he won't let the state's hard-fought COVID-19 gains slip

It comes as halfway through lockdown, Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton has defiantly declared he won’t let the state’s hard-fought COVID-19 gains slip

‘We would be in a similar position to now where we would have to go back to the Parliament. No-one is asking for an unlimited five years, 10 years, run forever. 12 months we think is appropriate. That is to say it is foreseeable,’ he said.

‘I hope we are wrong in predicting this will still need rules in 12 months. Hopefully we have got a vaccine by then.

‘But even then, the vaccine will take time to develop, manufacture, administer, and the efficacy of the vaccine, what is the life-cycle of that, does it protect you for three months, six months, here, forever, the whole notion of boosters, those sorts of things.

‘So this is nothing more or less than a logical extension in time, changing the law of the state to ensure it is equal to the challenge of state faces.’

The embattled state recorded its lowest amount of new COVID-19 cases on Monday since July 5, when 67 people were diagnosed.

The latest fatalities bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 430 and the national figure to 517.

The number of new cases is almost half Sunday’s figure of 208.

Opinion pieces don’t necessarily reflect the position of our news site but of our Opinion writers.

*Note We Deliberately Miss Spell Some Words or Add Capital Letters To Get Around Big Tech Censoring.

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