Pandemic Bill officially kicks off. Comments below.
This stage kicks off with no running sheet, which is unusual. Davis makes a point of this, as well as the continual lack of wider consulatation in the community (again).
Davis listing off all the people in the community who have been affected, and will be affected, by these new powers who have not had the chance to speak and be heard. Wants a proper Parliamentary enquiry into the bill.
Dog act. The Libs put forward a motion to delay the debate until they set up a committee to look into the bill. There were MPs wanting to speak on it which they're entitled to. Govt just pulled a stunt that they'll now vote on gagging the motion debate & just force a vote on it.
Govt just stopped other MPs speaking on the motion (which they're entitled to) that was about creating a committee to look into the bill. While the motion likely wouldn't have succeeded, this was unusual & the govt is just freely sh*tting on Parl process/democracy at this point.
Everyone following this is about to become real familiar with this concept. It's going to be a long afternoon.
They're now arguing about what expert advice was given to crossbenchers on the bill. They say they got advice & be able to ask questions on the bill.. but nothing was written down? Davis makes the point that the public is entitled to see record of what happened in those meetings.
Dogfight already. Opposition/ Crozier fighting for basic info like how many meetings the govt had with the crossbenchers on the bill. Says the public who are listening to the debate & are concerned about the bill deserve to know about the process in the name of transparency.
@JaclynSymes you listing off the names of various groups you happen to have spoken to, with zero detail, tells the public literally nothing in the name of transparency that's being sought on the process for how this bill got created & amended.
Getting the most basic info about what stakeholders were consulted & what submissions were provided to the govt in creation of the Bill is like pulling bloody teeth.
Oh christ Symes is referencing 'informal meetings' & even opinion pieces in media as reasons why she can't give a detailed list of the stakeholders engaged at various stages.
Says she can give a list of stakeholders who think the bill should pass. Complete farce.
Symes claims that background information on what experts were consulted on the bill & how it got created in the first place is 'not actually debating the bill'. Govt arguing how the bill got created isn't debating the bill. Odd take.
Symes just claimed business groups were consulted. Issue is nobody has any proof of who that was, how extensively they were consulted or.. literally anything else. Govt MPs seriously trying to argue this isn't relevant to debating the bill & to silence the questions.
HAHAHA Bev cracks out asking if the govt consulted with actual workers in the taxi/uber industry, not just the MP for the Transport Matters Party (Barton). Petty but a lol.
OHHH Symes is getting snippy already. You can always tell when she doesn't agree with what she's doing. She knows she's in the wrong here. Be interesting if she manages to hold it together. Usually got a lot of respect for how much she can cop in these debates & remain composed.
While it seems like they're hammering the point a bit, committee goes on record & can be used in future court cases to argue intent/ extent of legislation. As such, the extent of consultation that actually happened can be relevant.
@JaclynSymes "was there time for an exposure draft? No."
Yeah that's a straight up lie.
Symes "it was challenging for DHS to craft a bill on this timeline".
Your main drafting office isn't in DHS, that's why not all your legislation is about health. Lol.
Hayes makes a good mini speech. Points out there is no longer a clause that allows for jail time to be part of the penalties, which was one of his main requirements. Yes he's still voting against it as it doesn't go far enough in relation to how the orders can be disallowed.
Wow this speech from Symes is getting pulled out of hansard after this. This is pretty foul.
@JaclynSymes contradicted herself. She's repeatedly said that the govt didn't have time for extensive consultation but also then, in response to being annoyed at the Libs questions on who got consulted, that apparently the process they undertook was extensive. So, which is it?
Catherine makes a speech that she isn't playing politics & has repeatedly put forward numerous questions, in good faith, that the govt ignores & refuses to answer them. She lists off how many times she has put effort in to request meetings & further info, only to be ignored.
She was told due to legal advice the govt can't support her amendments she put forward, but the govt has refused to provide the legal advice or an explanation why outside of that excuse.
Holy shit. Catherine accuses the govt at one point of having said her questions are 'above her pay grade'.
Lmao. Symes tries to say that the reason for Catherine's meetings miraculously getting rescheduled every time was 'issues with schedules matching up'.
Catherine "really because I made myself available".
Limbrick asks if the govt will, once they get these powers, do anything to combat the dehumanisation of people in society and stop the separation of society.
Symes "it is part of the govts role to ensure we have a cohesive society". Jesus christ you're not doing well with that KPI are you.
A moment of appreciation for some of the stunning filibustering that's currently occurring in the chamber.
@JulieLeask and her recent article gets a mention in the pandemic bill debate by Cumming.
Limbrick asks if there's any consequences for the govt if they fail to meet the transparency requirements in the new bill.
Symes "it would certainly be our commitment to meet the requirements put out in the Bill". Says the joint committee could recommend that the order that be disallowed.
Limbrick asks if this is the only possible consequence.
Symes says the public & media are also there. Er.
Limbrick asks why they put a clause in the Bill that says failure to meet the transparency requirements means the order isn't invalidated if they plan to be so transparent.
Symes says 'it's just in case there's a genuine reason a doc isn't tabled'. I it really that hard?
HAHAHA omg. Limbrick asked why the govt blocked the release of public health advice previously, citing "it was not in the public interest" and asks "if it wasn't in the public interest before, why is it suddenly in their interest now?".
Brilliant questions.
*cheers at computer* YES TO THESE QUESTIONS DAVID.
Symes says that a Ministers assessment on Human Rights Charter must include a section that addresses if there's less restrictive options.
Can see why these haven't been released until now.
For the public, when Symes goes to the back they're going to get formal advice from advisors that sit up there for the duration of committee.
👀 who's that sitting next to Meddick. Is that Somyurek?
Finn speaks on family & friends of his who have suffered severe adverse vx reactions but can't get exemptions & must now risk their health or be locked out of society.
Symes says it isn't rly linked to the bill & Finn says it is as powers in the bill will be used to keep doing it
He looks very happy to be there.
That doesn't bode well for the govt 😂😂 he's started off by recalling internal Cabinet processes when this first started with the SOE.
Somyurek talks about the importance of bolstering checks and balances. It doesn't matter what govt it is - they shouldn't have these powers, he includes Guy in that example and drops a line about 'white line fever' 💀 ADEM. Really flexing that Parl privilege.
Says when he looks at the bill he sees Orwellian double speak.
He's talking about the blatant politicisation of the health crisis.
Okay this I can really get around 👀
Somyurek "in a crisis the first thing any democracy should be doing is taking the politics out of it."
This speech is next level 🔥
Talking about the lack of proper Parliament oversight in being able to call SOE's, that it should have to be tested in Parliament as the govts 'social licence' to lock people up and lock people down.
He's just said the bill allows for rule by decree, as there's no requirement to go back to Parliament to manage the situation.
Declares that he will not be voting on any of the amendments but will be voting against the bill.
Symes "this bill is about protecting the lives of Victorian's, it isn't to make rules that have no basis in a health response".
Jesus how does she keep a straight face sometimes.
Somyurek is openly debating Symes on legal technicalities about under what circumstances the Ombudsman can review decisions that are being made. This is VERY lively 👀
Few hours into the debate the basic paperwork had just been finalised.

Crozier doesn't miss the chance for a dig at the very large volume of amendments that have just been tabled for their perfect bill that was perfect 2 weeks ago. Big lol.
Crozier "the govt has sold this bill as being for 'future pandemics' but isn't it true that they plan to use these powers straight away and for the forseeable future?".
HAHA Bev brings up the excuse at the last sitting that the govt said 'they needed time to brief Somyurek'. She asked what happened with that. Symes said he didn't take up the offer. Bev makes the point the truth is that they stopped debate in order to get a crossbencher vote.
Symes "I don't think I'll ever proceed with a bill that I know I don't have the numbers on". Says it would be a waste of the public's time in order to go through a debate on Bill that would fail.
Limbrick asks why the govt didn't include the ombudsman recommendations, following the housing tower lockdown report, in the legislation that detainees have a right to fresh air and exercise. The govt also voted this down on the SOE extension.
Limbrick asks what protections are in place to ensure people aren't excluded from the right to participate in public life & if the govt can delay an election with the powers.

Symes says the Charter of HR must be applied to all orders & says election can't be delayed.
Bev "you've had no issue discriminating against children with your mandates & can you confirm you'd have no issue doing that with even younger children?".
Symes looks unhappy.
Says the question isn't relevant to her as she doesn't decide the mandates.
Dinner break until 7.30pm.
This is definitely shaping up to go late tonight.
We're back with Crozier kicking off on questions on how the bill could or could not impact the 2022 election & what safeguards the govt will ensure to protect the other processes as part of an election, such as campaigning that aren't specifically protected, could be impacted.
Crozier & now Bach going into the details about what a joke the current disallowance provision is given the govt would need to vote against itself.

Uhhhh. Symes is trying to say a govt wouldn't necessarily always win a majority required. Yeah maybe if the party isn't a cult lol
Finn asks bluntly if the powers would allow the govt to stop unvxd people voting at the next election, Symes just says straight "no".
Fiona predictably using her opportunity to ask a question to talk about why she thinks she's done a good job.
Oh wow Fifi.
"I would challenge anyone in this chamber to say this isn't better than the SOE."
"Myself, Ratnam and Meddick worked HARD on this."
Now she says "nobody here has even outlined what changes they want, they just want to say no".

Lady, fuck right off. What does your dumb ass think amendments are.
Melinda Bath asking common sense questions about how the panel will actually be made up.
We just got an answer. Minister for Health in consult with the CHO picks who's on the panel. Wow democracy.
Limbrick hits back at Patten's comments she has no idea what people want and claims they just want to say no, says the LibDem concerns have been very clear the entire time.
Asks why, if there is no time boundaries on the current legislation, how can this be considered a justifiable way of managing human rights in the long term?
Symes "there's no expiry date on a pandemic". Oh for fucks sake. Talk about missing the goddamn point.
Symes says there's 28day limits on pandemic orders. Limbrick points out this is useless given it never has a requirement to go back to Parliament.
Lol at Catherine's cheeky question asking if the govt regrets not actually talking to the entire crossbench, if they'd had them all in the same room maybe Fiona would know what they'd all wanted.
Good question by Bath. Asks about the clause in the PHWBA that entitles people to write seeking compensation/damages if a decision made under the powers adversely affects them. Asks if this provision will be carried over into the new powers. Symes says no, Bath asks why not.
Symes said it had never been used. Bath says that's fine but does that remove the right for compensation in the event of adverse impacts.
Symes says the bill doesn't stop people going through the normal court process if they want to request findings from the court.
Finn "people are going to die because of this" when discussing the fact people who should be able to get exemptions are being told by their dr don't even bother. Queries if the AG did offer help for those seeking exemptions.
Finn has asked the question clearly that does the legislation allow the govt to stop people voting in person at the election.
Symes says straight no.
He then goes on to say what's so safe about polling booths vs the cinema then? He is really hammering down on this point.
Catherine is back up. Says the mandates are impacting her rights as a parent dealing with a stressed out 12yo with a medical history and points out to the govt that the 'list' of exemption reasons the govt keeps quoting at people aren't being upheld by GPs.
Good question from Crozier. Asks what kind of training is given to authorised officers to ensure compliance is managed in a proportional manner.
Answer was that it depends on what area they actually work in, depends on the training they get. Apparently there's a total of about 400 in VIC.
David's question from a SARC report finally bamboozled the advisors asking about how variants play into the pandemic declarations.
Hammering out some good answers here.
Crozier backing Limbrick's questions up about what happens when a disease is endemic, not pandemic, but there's an outbreak. Can the powers still be used? What causes the govt to know the pandemic is over?
Catherine points out (again) the govt does literally nothing for anyone who does have covid who doesn't need a hospital, which is well over 90% of people.
We're still on clause one & haven't even touched the amendments yet. This is going to be a long one.
Limbrick asking how/when the joint Parl committee will be formed. Given it needs Parl approval to form does this mean it won't happen until Feb next year when Parl next sits? Symes says this is a good point they will have to look at it. Oh yeah they care about transparency 🙄
Now onto:
Has any of the expert committee options been contacted yet?
Answer is no, not until the bill passes.
Then asks will these experts be financially compensated & if so, how much?
Answer is yes, there's current set protocols to determine how much that would be.
We've just passed clause one. Lol.
Bells = voting. For those asking.
Get used to them. If division is called (eg someone demands a vote, which gets the voters recorded) the bells get rung. They get to vote on every clause and every amendment.
Bells may not be used for all but get used to toggling the volume.
Ah, Davis has entered the chat. He's not really had a go yet. He's normally a pretty big questioner.
😂 Davis has been saving up for this. He's on a roll ripping into the details of the bill.
Accuses the govt that the full formal briefs behind decisions (eg the main reasonings) won't be released as part of the transparency requirements.
Very few MPs have been in Parl as long as Davis has and he is known for his knack for legislative minutiae in the chamber. Suspect he'll be very vocal in clause 12.
12 is the biggest clause in the bill at 67 pages long. There's technically 58 clauses in total.
As they go through each clause they'll also go through the relevant amendments for that clause. There are A LOT of amendments tabled.
To give you an idea how many, the amendments just from the govt late last night is a total of 16 pages of text, on top of the 3 that they put forward the last time we tried to do this. Doesn't include the opposition or crossbenchers ones they've put forward as well.
15 minute break. Joy.
We're back. Good question from Bev. What happens if federal health advice contradicts state? (This has happened quite a bit on things like mask mandates).
We've extended to midnight (they go hour by hour). No way this'll be done before 1am at this rate.
Rich-Phillips asks if there's any external official body required to agree with the assessment made in declaring a pandemic eg WHO. The answer is generally no it isn't specified but the declaration does need to meet certain criteria for justifying what/why there's a risk.
We're into gritty questions about who decides what a pandemic is/ means and if there's some kind of working definition that's been identified/ will be used. Interesting.
We're finally onto the first amendments for a clause, 8 hours in. Lol.
Hayes asked a great question (was also wondering), that removing SARC as the main committee doesn't prevent them from performing their usual role. Answer is it doesn't.
FYI this is where it can start to really slow down as tiny details get debated and there is lots of voting.
Oh, they're kind of chunking clauses & amendments where they're very minor (well, trying to).
Davis has opposed another attempt at a time extension until 1am and is instead asking it to be deferred to restart Thursday. They're now voting on it.
Note: they could extend to Thursday. They're choosing to ram this through.
The vote was lost, we're here until 1am. Realistically at this rate it's a minimum of 2am. We haven't even touched clause 12 yet which is the biggest by far so there will be questions and quite a lot of amendments.
There's nothing like listening to the govt get up and go "look how great this amendment is that we in no way voluntarily wanted to exist and fought tooth and nail to stop it happening, go us!".
Hayes asking some questions, starts struggling with the sentence a bit. Some MPs starting to feel the fatigue. They're approaching 10 hours since it started & still haven't reached the biggest clause which will likely take an hour. Pushing through with this is so unnecessary.
Rich-Phillips going remarkably strong in this questions for almost 1am. He's focusing on details on who reviews the detention orders, who they are, how they're appointed etc.
Still going. This is certainly getting beyond ridiculous.
So many MPs trooping through this, as it inches towards 2.30am and the house will tecnically have been sitting for 15 hours.
We are on a break and there's still a not-insignificant amount of the bill and the amendments to go. Now the question is if the govt will attempt to gag debate and just rush it through, or keep going at this completely insane hour.
We are back and they seem to be pushing through.. but they're still within clause 12. Even if they vote to gag debate and smash out what is left in the Bill, it's unlikely to take under another hour.
Am I delirious or.. Meddick just got up asking about the bill ensuring there's the right to protest publicly in a safe manner basically enshrined in there. Symes says yes. They've agreed to indicate ways for people to be able to protest & no longer do the hard no.
Still. Going.
They're still in there. Unbelievable.
Daylight is back and the bill still isn't done.
Oh it's a bit loose now, they're all clearly pretty sleep deprived.
It's still not done. The breakfast break is ending shortly and it's been a record breaking night.
Today's entire sitting is obviously totally detailed. This hasn't happened before where they've gone fully overnight. This one bill is managing to set a lot of records.
Nice to go back in with everyone agreeing on an amendment, which means no bells. They haven't been a fun time at various hours of the morning.
Finn "human rights are for all, not just the select".
Symes "well these orders have to comply with the human rights charter so that isn't correct".
Jesus christ Kieu. Sit down and get some sleep.
We're only a few hours away from hitting the mark of the house having sat for 24hrs, they originally started at 11.30am yesterday, and have only stopped for a handful of meal breaks in that time.
May not agree with much of what she's doing right now (suspect she doesn't either) but respect has to go to Symes for holding up at this point. There are very few people who could do what she's doing for going on 24hrs & retain composure. Credit should go where it's due.
We've swapped out the acting Pres (who is no doubt exhausted) and now have Bourman. Delightful. He's easy to follow and seems to actually have some ZZZ's in the tank, which is what the others tired brains in that room need right now.
Win for Limbrick. In his questions it came up the committee clauses were written in a way that meant they didn't *need* to exist for 2 months AFTER a pandemic declaration had been made. Govt now saying they'll start the process Thurs. No guarantee of creation before Feb though.
Davis still going strong. Accuses the govt & crossbenchers of lying to the public as the govt has now said the 'health advice' will not be the full briefings but instead 'a summary'. This means they can likely continue to hide the full advice that's been used to make decisions.
Bach following on. Says unless the govt has had a 'change of heart' in trying to oppose and block every single attempt to date to have docs tabled in the name of transparency then what they're putting forward are just 'weasel words'.
Efforts now being made to more aggressively work through amendments. We've just gone through numbers 27-35 from the govt in one hit. There are still quite a lot to go. The govt have put forward a total of 83 amendments, this is not including the ones presented by other MPs.
OMG Symes is trying to justify the govt wanting both houses of Parl must vote to disallow an order because 'we're all there to represent our constituents & deserve a vote'. Again, only relevant for MPs who don't sign a cult clause that they'll never vote against their party.

ZERO comeback from the govt. They don't even try & refute the claim that they sign an agreement upon being elected they'll be instantly removed & banished from their own party if they ever dare to publicly break rank with the party line.
Cliff making the obvious point that overview means nothing without genuinely effective measures available to hold decision makers to account.
Catherine going into why on earth the govt would target children with penalties and the impact of mask mandates on children.
Ratnam up & gushing about how great the agreement from the govt was to agree to concessional fines.
Except in her live she admitted they never bothered to actually negotiate how much the concession would be. Also does nothing to combat the disproportional targeting that happens.
Jesus christ. Samantha right now:
Oh & now she's ended on that if you don't agree with any of the public health response you want people to die. What a fuckin idiot.

Davis gets up to point out that public health isn't just looking at one metric & true public health is about transparency, accountability etc
Sam's going off her tits trying to say Catherine's claim that there is no science to justify wearing masks outdoors alone is 'misinformation'.

Catherine points out that you can't get or pass a disease when nobody is around & that claiming otherwise is the 'misinformation'.
@TimQMLCNorthVic caught on camera struggling to keep his eyes open. He wouldn't be alone. Hope someone brings you coffee Tim!
We're currently striking out the 'aggravated offence' clause entirely, easily one of the worst parts of this awful bill. Also made The Greens claim of wonderful 'concessional fines' look utterly stupid in the face of aggravated fines of 90k or risk of 2 years jail.
Libs fighting for an amendment that would stop warantless entry into private property.
Symes says there's already a clause that allows this under PHWBA, with set limitations, that authorised officers can enter if there's deemed a serious risk to public health.
Uh WTF. Ratnam is up asking the AG who will be/ how it will be assessed as being eligible for the concession on fines & how much the concession will even be? 🥴

Soo you negotiated.. nothing?
This is absolutely embarrassing.
Symes says it will be 10-20% lower and this is 'significantly less' than the full amount.

UM. Less than 1/4 discount is not 'significant' by normal IQ standards. This is incredibly embarrassing.
The Greens "Oh you're so disadvantaged can't afford $1,000? Here, it's now only $900! Don't worry there's no need to thank us, we know how wonderful we are."
Ended for now. The Bill will now to go to the lower house to agree to the (many) amendments & we'll see it back in the upper tomorrow for a final vote.
They're wrapping up until tomorrow, announced to cheers in the chamber. Most importantly the MPs get to go home & sleep now.
Looking back at how many spelling & grammar errors there are in the tweets, wow 😂 ah well, you get that on the big jobs. What a marathon that was. Here's hoping none of this ever gets repeated.
Will do some Q+A stuff later, know there's a lot of questions from people. Just need a few hours to enjoy not hearing bloody bells every few minutes.

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More from @Voice4Victoria

30 Nov
Opposition ripping the govt a new one on their inconsistencies on the Pandemic Bill. First it was urgent, then time was 'needed to consult', then next minute it's urgent again even though the other MPs have barely had 12 hours to see the amendments they're meant to debate today.
They're rushing this so much that the basic run sheet for the debate hasn't even been finished & circulated before the debate starts. Symes tries to defend this, says they can start at clause 1 & maybe if still not done after that they can look at a minor delay. Sloppy & chaotic.
You can see why Shing has been tagged as a preselection favourite for the next election. Their favourite narky little attack dog.
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29 Nov
Pandemic Bill update 🧵
Been waiting to see if there's a standard evening Herald Sun leak from the govt about news of a deal.
With nothing so far & also no leaks from any MPs saying they've been sent new amendments (would have to happen) it's looking like debate won't resume tomorrow it'll be Thursday.
It is however technically still scheduled for tomorrow but this is never set in stone & can easily just change in the morning. This is where Bernie's comments come from (I assume) as the govt doubled down on this schedule at a briefing this evening which was a bit odd.
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27 Nov
Why are they trying to close the borders again? If it's seeded globally already (most likely) you'll achieve nothing anyway & even if it hasn't - what are you achieving, exactly? What you'll keep them locked until there's a new vx? Or until when?
'We just need time for more info' ok how much time? What'll make that end? How many times within that time are politicians going to move the goalposts? This started with '2 weeks to flatten the curve'. Very few people are stupid enough to buy a line like that again at this point.
To the inevitable screeching "are you saying let it rip?!" the question has to be asked, are you saying to start again from zero? Seriously, are you? What do you want here? How much suffering in every other area of life do you not care about if it means you can feed that fear?
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27 Nov
Some observations:
You have to admire the absolute commitment of being in stilts.
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26 Nov
Pandemic Bill update 🧵
Today we heard the govt & crossbenchers were having a 'meeting'. Turns out this was just advisors from Foley & the Premier's office allocating 30mins for a meeting on a Friday afternoon with 11 crossbenchers & many of their staff. Seems like it's going to be productive, right?
Needless to say the most productive thing achieved was the govt can now tick a box saying they'd 'spoken to the crossbenchers'. Problem is all they spoke about was the original version of the bill & the govts own amendments - nobody elses.
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21 Nov
Pandemic Bill update 🧵
As mentioned the bill needs to be killed in its current form but all MPs agree they don't want this govt reaching for the SOE again anytime soon. Something needs to exist that has hard limits on powers & much better Parl oversight. So the hunger games of the crossbench commences.
What Adem did was ensure the govt needs another vote, without giving them an inch as to who that would be. A situation made worse by the govt having told the entire crossbench just days before "boo hoo losers your concerns don't matter, bye". That humble pie was an epic serve.
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