We were supposed to learn from history, not repeat it.
The excessive relinquishing of our freedoms and civil liberties has led us down a dark path, one which will only lead to chaos and despair. From the moment COVID19 became a major issue, the political manipulation of fear for the purpose of gaining increased powers was bound to occur. When it comes to power, politicians simply cannot help themselves. So, it was only a matter of time before governments thought “Hey, this would be a great opportunity to give myself some more overbearing powers. It is, after all, for the good of the people.” And so ensued a democratic disaster.
Now I have spoken previously to power-seeking, self-serving politicians. And I have discussed how important human rights are. But this time, well, this time I write an article with deep concern for the future of Victorians, and the future of democracy in this nation. Australia has, for so long, been a great nation. Democracy has allowed us to thrive, giving the people freedom, and keeping politicians in check. But now, one single Bill threatens to tear it all down, and disgrace this great nation on the world stage. One single Bill threatens to shred the very fabric of democracy itself. And where else would that Bill be than in the Socialist Republic of Victoria?
I speak, of course, of the dread-inducing Omnibus Bill. Its full name is the “COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020”. But for the sake of keeping things concise, I will just refer to it as the Omnibus Bill. While this Bill covers several areas (hence, “Omni”), there is one part in particular that should concern every single person in this country, especially Victorians. For your benefit, I took the time to read it myself, and yes, it is cause for concern.
The Part of the Bill that is most alarming is Part 13, which pertains to “COVID-19 Temporary Measures”. As we all know by now, these so-called “temporary” measures are likely to continue for far longer than we would be led to believe. Division 2 of this Part of the Bill, entitled “Emergency powers measures”, contains several sections numbers 250-253. Now don’t worry if you do not understand exactly what these terms mean, they are simply terms used in political documents. These sections of the Bill detail powers that should never be installed in a democratic nation. First, section 250 allows the Secretary responsible to appoint any person that they consider to be appropriate based on their “skills, attributes, experience or otherwise” to be an authorized officer for the purposes of the Act. To put this in simple terms, that means practically any public servant, even if they are not Police or from the Department of Health, could be appointed as an “authorized officer”. That means the government could appoint building inspectors or the like to carry out this Act. And when combined with this next part, it is quite chilling.
Section 252 brings in further emergency powers, and reads as follows:
A designated authorised officer may detain a person under section 200(1)(a) if -(a) a direction has been given in the exercise of an emergency power under section 200(1)(a), (b), (c) or (d); and (b) the designated authorised officer reasonably believes that a person who is required to comply with the direction— (i) is a high risk person within the meaning of subsection (2); and (ii) is likely to refuse or fail to comply with the direction.
(2) A person is a high risk person if— (a) the person has been notified that the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not been given clearance from self-isolation in accordance with the applicable requirements; or (b) the person has been notified in accordance with the applicable requirements that the person is a close contact of a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and has not been given clearance from self-quarantine in accordance with the applicable requirements.
(3) For the purposes of detaining a person under section 200(1)(a) in accordance with this section— (a) the reference in section 200(1)(a) to the period reasonably necessary to eliminate a serious risk to public health is taken to be a reference to the period throughout which a designated authorised officer reasonably believes that the person— (i) is a high risk person; and (ii) is likely to refuse or fail to comply with the direction; and (b) the reference in section 200(6) to whether the continued detention of the person is reasonably necessary to eliminate a serious risk to public health is taken to be a reference to whether the continued detention of the person is reasonably necessary because a designated authorised officer reasonably believes that the person— (i) is a high risk person; and 30 (ii) is likely to refuse or fail to comply with the direction.
In this section ‘applicable requirements mean those specified in a direction given under section 200 in respect of that matter’ and ‘designated authorized officer means an authorized officer who may exercise any of the public health risk powers and emergency powers’.
Ok, so that is the Part as quoted from the Bill. Now here is the explainer.
Essentially, an authorized officer, that is, someone who has been authorized by the relevant Government Secretary to carry out this Act, could be anyone that the Government deems fit. That individual will then have powers bestowed upon them that would allow them to detain anyone they “reasonably believe” is likely to run a risk of breaking the rules. That means that anyone the authorized officer can essentially arrest anyone they THINK will break the restrictions. In other words, that means that anyone can be detained even if they have NOT committed a crime.
To make matters worse, as per the Bill, there is no limit on how long these people can be detained. It is all about “reasonable necessity”. There is also no avenue for appeal. These authorized officers can detain “conspiracy theorists” and anti-lockdown protestors. But who defines what a “conspiracy theorist” is? Well, probably the Government. You see where this is going? It is a slippery slope.
There is something truly ominous about this Omnibus Bill. Because the Government and their authorized officers get to deem who is a risk and who isn’t, it could all go downhill very quickly. This will basically give the Victorian Government censorship powers. It can easily be manipulated and allow the Government to detain anyone who so much as criticizes or disagrees with them. There would be more people like Zoe Buhler who have the police show up at their house, no warrant needed, to arrest them for posting something on social media that goes against the Government and the information they are providing. It only ends in complete tyranny.
Here is a hypothetical that could soon be very real in Victoria: You are in your home. The previous day, you posted something on Facebook that disputed the Government’s points or was critical of what they have said. You may have encouraged people to fight for their freedoms. Then you hear a knock on the door. Outside are four, maybe five police officers. You open the door and ask them what they are doing at your home. They tell you they have reasonable belief that you are a risk to the people of Victoria, and that you will be detained. When you inquire as to why, they tell you it has something to do with a post you published on Facebook the day before. Then they take you away, and detail you for however long they believe is necessary. You cannot fight it, you cannot appeal. All you can do is comply and wait. Is this really the kind of society you want to live in? One where the government essentially has complete control over the people? If it is, you should be questioning your views.
This is what Victoria could soon look like. A State where freedom is lost. A State where democracy is but a shred of history. The Omnibus Bill is an ominous one. It has no place in a democratic nation. It is something that would be expected of a Communist Government. If that is the way the Victorian Government is headed, then the Governor, Linda Dessau, must step in and take action right now. Indeed, her one job is to protect the Constitution and by extension democracy itself. Currently, the Bill has been passed by the Lower House in the Victorian Parliament. If it is passed by the Upper House, it becomes law, and remains in effect until at least April 26, 2021.
If the Omnibus Bill becomes law, democracy dies in Victoria and tyranny prevails. Similar circumstances have occurred before. They only lead to misery, despair and, tragically, death. We should all agree that this cannot be allowed to happen in Australia.
We are supposed to learn from history, not repeat it.