Sign the Petition: Kill Dan’s Bill
By National Times Australia
Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution empowered one man to pass Emergency Decrees leading to the Nazi dictatorship.
Hitler used Article 48 to give his dictatorship the stamp of legality.
Under the decree issued on the basis of Article 48, Hitler was given authority to curtail constitutional rights including habeus corpus, free expression of opinion, freedom of the press, rights of assembly and the privacy of communications.
For 80 years, we in the West have repeatedly declared “never again” – “again” has arrived and this is the moment of truth.
New Section 8A of Daniel Andrews’ Bill is our Article 48. It affords Andrews the same tyrannical powers that went unchecked in 1933.
This dangerous Bill passed the lower house on 25 October and is predicted to pass the upper house on a day between 16 and 19 November, with the help of Fiona Patten MP, Samantha Ratnam MP and Andy Meddick MP all of whom have continually voted with this government for the extension of emergency powers under the current Act.
Once this outrageous piece of legislation passes there is only ONE REMAINING OPPORTUNITY TO KILL THE BILL.
Though it is unprecedented, we turn to the Governor now and ask that the Honourable Linda Dessau AC act according to Australia’s core principles of government and democracy and that she:
- Withhold royal assent to the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021; AND
- Warn the Premier of the consequences of his proposed course
This must be done on the grounds that the proposed law does not fall within the Constitution of Australia and certainly does NOT accord with the rule of law and is flagrant in its disregard for the democratic and constitutional framework of the State and this country.
THIS IS HER ROLE, ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL GOVERNOR’S WEBSITE, WHICH STATES:
The primary obligation of the Governor is to oversee the workings of the government of the day to ensure that it acts within the boundaries of the Victorian Constitution and the rule of law. Thus the Governor is, in effect, a steward of our democratic framework and has certain powers and rights which may be exercised to achieve this. These powers and rights are described later.
Given the Governor’s place as the head of Victoria’s constitutional structure, it is important that the Governor remains apolitical and impartial. It is for this reason the Governor does not vote in elections.
The main constitutional responsibilities of the Governor in relation to the function of the government of the day are to:
– call an election
– chair the Executive Council
– give Royal Assent to Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament
– dissolve the Legislative Assembly in exceptional circumstances
– appoint and dismiss Ministers.
Giving Royal Assent
A Bill is a proposed Act that has not yet been passed by the two Houses of Parliament or has been passed but has not yet received Royal Assent. Once a proposed piece of legislation is passed by the two Houses and is given formal approval by the Governor – that is, given Royal Assent – it becomes an Act of Parliament and becomes the law of Victoria.
The Governor also has the right to warn the Premier (or Minister) of the consequences of a proposed course. This might include a warning of the possibility of the exercise of reserve powers. Such a right would be exercised only in exceptional circumstances.
It is important to bear in mind that the Governor is not concerned with the wisdom of a proposal or issues of politics or public policy. These are matters for the elected government. Similarly, it is for the courts to determine the validity or otherwise of an exercise of power. The Governor’s concern is to be satisfied that the proposal falls within the Constitution and accords with the rule of law and the practices and conventions of good government.
The Governor has reserve powers that can be exercised notwithstanding the absence of, or despite, Ministerial advice. The reserve powers are very limited in nature and exist to ensure that Victoria’s system of government operates within the accepted democratic and constitutional framework. They can, however, only be exercised in very exceptional circumstances.
That time is now. These are exceptional circumstances. Without the Governor’s royal assent, the Bill will not be enacted into law.
What the legal fraternity has to say about Dan’s “appalling” bill.
WE WILL BE PRESENTING THIS PETITION TO THE GOVERNOR OF VICTORIA, THE HONOURABLE LINDA DESSAU, WITH THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE:
“The time for tours of the Governor’s house and its gardens is over.
Show us that your title is not just an empty honourary office. Use your protective reserve powers, in the name of the Crown, to do just that. Before it’s too late.”