Victoria’s Cases Plateau As Pandemic Laws Go Under The Microscope

Massive Covid testing day

Article heading image for Victoria’s Cases Plateau As Pandemic Laws Go Under The Microscope

Luis Ascui/EPA

Victoria reported 1534 new infections on Wednesday and sadly 13 Covid-related deaths.

There are 24,164 active coronavirus cases, with 748 people in hospital, while 138 of those are in ICU and 87 are on ventilators.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Melbourne Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.

The new cases were detected from a bumper 83,210 swabs collected on Tuesday, while 24,180 vaccine doses were administered at state-run hubs, with thousands more at GP clinics and pharmacies.

As of Wednesday morning, 76 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated, with targets of 80 per cent expected to be met by the end of the week as significant steps in the state's reopening roadmap to come into effect from 6pm Friday.


Meanwhile, the state's proposed new pandemic laws remain highly contentious, with many varied opinions.

On one side of the playing field, Victoria's Health Minister, Martin Foley, believes the legislation "cements this Victorian Parliament and this public health response as the most accountable, transparent and public health-focused system in the Commonwealth".

While on the opposing team, Liberal's Matthew Guy has called out the proposed laws as "an incredible attack on democracy."

"In short, this bill is the most extreme of its kinds that we've seen in Australia. While a pandemic requires different approaches, it doesn't require a law as extreme as this."

- MP Matthew Guy

However, the Human Rights Law Centre have thrown their provisional support behind the bill.

Despite not having read the fine print yet, HRLC's legal director, Daniel Webb, has commented that "it's sounding like a significant improvement on the laws that we currently have".

"It sounds like it's going to include some really key human rights and democracy safeguards," he says.

"Those things are important because, at the end of the day, that's what helps government make better decisions. And it's what helps the public have trust and confidence in those decisions."

- Daniel Webb

Under the proposed new legislation, the state's health minister, rather than the chief health officer would have the authority to sign off on public health orders. 

The second reading of the bill goes before state parliament on Wednesday.


Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

Hit News Team

26 October 2021

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