The controversial proposal would replace the powers of state of emergency and authorize the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health to declare pandemics and enforce health directives. Under the current system, the state health director, who is not an elected official, has these powers.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy has accused the government of being “megalomaniac” over the bill.
The bill must now be considered in the upper house, where it must have the support of three of the 11 crossbenchers.
The Legislative Council is expected to pass the bill with the support of Reason Party MP Fiona Patten, Animal Justice MP Andy Meddick and Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, who was involved in negotiations.
They reviewed the legislation this week and have yet to decide what changes they plan to introduce.
Saturday’s protest was attended by independent House of Representatives MP Catherine Cumming, while Liberal Democrat David Limbrick, who has refused to prove his vaccination status to the Victorian parliament, said police had done a ‘great job of easing people’s right to freedom of assembly “.
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