A controversial former Labor minister has issued an explosive threat to the Andrews government’s pandemic Bill.
The passing of the Andrews government’s controversial pandemic management bill is at the mercy of a former labor MP, with the politician revealing he will block it.
Adem Somyurek, who quit Labor last year before he could be expelled following a Nine Network investigation that caught him handing over cash and using parliamentary staff to allegedly create fake branch members, said he would return to parliament to oppose the Bill.
He told the Herald Sun on Wednesday night that the proposed laws gave “too much power to the government” and could lead to a “tyranny of rule by decree”.
The vote was scheduled for Thursday, with the government confident it would win the upper house vote after securing the support of three crossbench MPs on Monday.
But Mr Somyurek’s decision would mean the government would fall short of a majority, providing the eight other crossbenchers – who had already committed to opposing the Bill – vote against it.
In that scenario, the Bill will fail.
The new laws – which would give the Premier the power to declare a pandemic on the advice of the chief health officer and Health Minister – were pushed through the lower house two weeks ago.
Government officials can only make certain decisions such as lockdown, limits on movement and mandatory mask-wearing rules under the state of emergency.
It has introduced the bill, which began being debated on Tuesday, so it can continue to wield pandemic powers after the state of emergency expires on December 15.
Debate on the Bill will continue in parliament, with a vote scheduled, later on Thursday.