24th March 2020
** Emergency legislation before Parliament **
A massive day in State Parliament today with the Government introducing emergency measures which I never thought we'd see or require in our lifetime.
Twenty different Acts are being urgently reworked as we try to meet the ever-changing demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Is the new legislation perfect? No. But we must keep moving forward together and doing everything we can to adjust to this crisis.
I expect these new laws will clear both houses today. They include changes to legal procedures so our courts can continue to operate, changes to the enforcement of public health orders which give police the capacity to arrest virus carriers if they breach self-isolation orders, and changes to the Local Government Act which will give councils the power to postpone this year's elections for up to 12 months.
There are also changes to planning laws so health agencies can move quickly to build temporary but urgent facilities if needed, and even new laws to allow supermarkets to trade throughout the Easter period and parts of Anzac Day if they choose.
All of these law changes are valid for six or 12 months only, so they'll be constantly reviewed or allowed to expire when we're back on top of things.
There are more and I'll try to keep you up to date as things progress.
I should add that these measures are being supported by all sides of the Parliament.
We're all in this together, even if we're one and a half metres apart!
Stay safe and stay healthy.