Victorian Premier Dan Andrews copped a bit of backlash regarding his comments about extending Victoria’s State of Emergency powers yesterday. In his latest press conference earlier this afternoon, he went on to clarify exactly what he meant.
Dan reiterated that an extended stage of emergency – if granted by parliament – does not refer to the harsh, stage four restrictions that most Victorians are dealing with at the moment.
“This is not in relation to curfews. This is not in relation to Stage four. These are many of the rules that we have had to become particularly familiar with, and they're the sorts of rules that will be here, potentially, for a long time. Keeping your distance, washing your hands, staying in your own home if you've got this virus," he stressed.
Dan likened an extended state of emergency to an insurance policy. “We hope we don’t have to make a claim against it”, he said. “The extension just brings us into line – in fact, still has us, I think, in a preferred position to many states. Other states are able to extend and extend and extend further. They don’t have any limits. We – under these arrangements – will simply continue the existing set of tools, if you like – the practical tools that we can draw on – based on the best of medical advice.”
If parliament grants him the ability to extend Victoria’s State of Emergency provisions, extensions would be sought in four-week blocks. “There would need to be fresh advice and a fresh case mounted...we would have to continue to reaffirm that that was the appropriate thing to do,” Dan said. So, all signs point towards a lifting of the most harsh stage four restrictions on September 13 still. Phew.
We’ll keep you across updates as they happen.
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