The Honourable

Lower House Member,
Australian Federal Parliament.

Dear 25th of August, 2020.

RE: Proposed extension of State of Emergency Powers announced by Premier
Daniel Andrews at his Corona Press Conference on
Monday 24th of August 2020.

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and struggling business owner in regards to the above announcement by the Victorian Premier yesterday, Monday the 24th of August, 2020.

I am 57 years of age and I have never written to a member of parliament in this manner in my lifetime. So concerned am I by this announcement that I am writing to EVERY member of the Federal Parliament today. Yesterday I wrote to every member of both houses of the Victorian parliament.

From this point onward I will be engaging with you on a consistent basis.

This proposal is an unprecedented grab for power that should be opposed by EVERY free-thinking person & more importantly EVERY parliamentarian regardless of their political persuasion. If successfully passed in the Victorian Parliament this extension of power would not only be a setback for our democracy in this state, but it would set an insidious precedent for future governments and politicians to follow.

Of even more concern in yesterday's press conference, the Premier indicated that he would continue to seek extensions to these powers until a vaccine for COVID-19 was available. This may not be available for years to come if at all. Does this mean the Premier is seeking these powers indefinitely?

This issue now is above politics and is all about words and principles that we use too glibly throughout our lives. This issue is now about our freedoms, liberties and even our patriotism. A six-month restriction to State Emergency Powers was put in place in legislation for a reason, it was designed to allow governments to address serious public issues, but also to ensure a limited time for governments to govern by decree rather than through a vibrant democracy.

I obtained the following from the Parliament of Victoria website in regards to the Health Minister being able to declare a State of Emergency

"The Act empowers the Minister for Health, on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, to declare a 'state of emergency' to respond to public health crises that pose a 'serious risk to public health"

I am no constitutional or health expert, but I cannot see how, by the figures listed in the table below (obtained from the federal government's health website), that we meet the above criteria for a State of Emergency itself, let alone any further extensions to the one now in place.

I have no doubt many of my fellow Victorian and Australians would share the same view.
I believe we are past the point of needing to open up our society from the damage currently being inflicted upon it by you, our political representatives. From small businesses going broke, people losing their jobs, children missing their education, sports activities and their socialization with their friends, to all of us to be able to enjoy a coffee at a cafe, a beer at a pub of a few hours at the footy or the sport of our choices, the damage has now become too severe for what you are trying to protect us from.

This says nothing for the ripple health effects from things such as suicide, identification of fatal health situations that could be prevented and the inability of individuals to afford proper health care.

Our state and indeed our nation needs to be set free from these draconian restrictions.

In Victoria the current State of Emergency is due to conclude on September 13th and rather than further lock-downs and restrictions on our way of life, your responsibility is to discover and implement ways for all of us to live with this virus as opposed to living in fear of it.

This applies equally to both our state and federal representatives. As federal members of parliament, no matter your political persuasion, you are capable of bringing pressure to bear to not only the Victorian government and Premier, but to any of your fellow federal colleagues who would support these draconian measures and any extension of powers.

To extend State of Emergency Powers any longer than currently required would be to destroy not only many businesses, not only our economy but more importantly the fabric of our society. To me, this would amount to criminal negligence.

Your most important duty as our political representatives is to protect our freedoms and liberties so we all can enjoy a life of our choosing and making. Currently, you are trampling all over those freedoms and liberties.

You can change this by bringing pressure to bear to oppose the extension of these State of Emergency powers so that they instead come to a natural end on September 13th.

The freedoms I have mentioned above were passed onto us by our past generations who fought and died for them in various wars and conflicts. They made those sacrifices so we could all live free in the greatest country on the globe, not for the situation we currently find ourselves in. We are all watching and I for one will look to hold accountable all parliamentarians, in whatever manner I can, if they choose to support this power grab that will further trample our freedoms and liberties.

If the Victorian government truly want an extension of these powers then they should call a general election and let their employer, the Victorian public, have their voices heard to obtain such a mandate. If you sit by and allow the Victorian parliament to pass these extra powers without such a mandate it will be an act of political cowardice that we have not seen before.

I look forward to a response from each of you to this correspondence before any vote on this proposal is put before the Victorian parliament so that I can share that response with my readership and followers through my social media platforms. If you choose not to respond then I will share that as well.

I eagerly await that response to this correspondence in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Mann
The Community Forum Online Newspaper
Mobile: 0490 823 400
The Community Forum Online Newspaper