Individuals and businesses could be facing some massive fines and even jail time in the event of another pandemic-induced lockdown under new proposed laws.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has tabled new legislation to be considered in parliament, which would replace the current State of Emergency laws.
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The state government said the legislation would create purpose-built laws that were specific to a pandemic.
This is what you need to know:
Under the new legislation, individuals can be fined up to $90,500 and businesses up to $452,500 for breaching public health orders.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, fines were issued to those who broke the rules, but these new penalties are far greater than what we have seen previously.
As well as fines, the legislation will allow for prison sentences for up to two years for people who knowingly breach health orders and cause a serious health risk to another person.
However, it should be noted the legislation outlines that people experiencing financial hardship can apply for lesser fines.
More state government power
The new laws would also give the premier the ability to declare a pandemic and can extend it up to three months without a maximum time period.
Currently, the State of Emergency powers need to be renewed every four weeks, so this new law would extend that ability threefold.
Additionally, the health minister would also be able to make pandemic orders as well as the premier.
The legislation would also create an independent pandemic management advisory committee.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the bill was about creating a more transparent and accountable system.