Australia Daniel Andrews to extend state of emergency to December
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Daniel Andrews is planning to extend Victoria's state of emergency until December to keep coronavirus restrictions in place.
The government will introduce a bill on Tuesday to push the emergency powers past its 12 month limit.
The state of emergency which was introduced last March is due to end on March 15 but Mr Andrews is hoping to extend it until December 15.
The state of emergency allows the government to enforce rules such as hotel quarantine, laws around masks as well as restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
'This is not about new rules. This is just about keeping the current rules in place and potentially loosening them off as conditions continue to get better,' Mr Andrews said.
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Veteran conservative Kevin Andrews was challenged by a former special forces captain for a sought-after Liberal Party seat in Melbourne's eastern suburbs on Sunday.Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, the former defence minister known for his social conservatism and the longest-serving member of Federal Parliament, has become the first federal Liberal since 1990 to be unseated in a party preselection in Victoria.
'We can't go to a situation where there are no rules we have to continue to acknowledge and embrace the fact that what we built is precious and has to be defended.'
The Victorian premier said even with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, strong restrictions would need to remain in place.
'It's very heartening to think that we'll be able to protect people from really significant illness, but the notion that people could still have the virus and pass it on will mean that things like hotel quarantine will for quite some time, be a feature of our COVID normal,' he said.
It comes as Victoria recorded its 27th day with no new locally acquired cases.
Mr Andrews also announced on Tuesday both public and private sector offices would increase to 75 per cent capacity.
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Michael Gunner, says Territorians are likely to welcome to departure of Victorian Liberal member Kevin Andrews from Federal Parliament. © 9News NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner farewells Kevin Andrews amid political demise. Mr Andrews introduced a private members bill into Parliament in 1996, quashing the NT's voluntary euthanasia laws and further prohibits Territories from legislating on certain moral matters.During the nine months the laws were in operation, four people were able to access the assisted dying laws.
Private sector workplaces had been capped at 50 per cent while public offices were capped at 25 per cent.
The new changes will come in a bid to boost business for hospitality and retail venues hit hard by the pandemic in Melbourne's CBD.
With the influx of commuters returning to work from Monday, Mr Andrews reminded Victorians masks would still need to be worn on public transport.
Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, state of emergency powers were only enforceable for a maximum of six months.
This was extended by the Andrews government to one year after negotiating a coronavirus clause.
If the bill is passed to extend the state of emergency it will be in place for a total of 21 months.
Gladys Berejiklian responds to Dan Andrews' claims on hotel quarantine .
Daniel Andrews declared there are 'higher standards' with safety procedures at Victoria's quarantine hotels - when compared with the neighbouring state. 'This is not about boasting, it's just a fact,' he said on Tuesday. Mr Andrews made the bold assertion as he jumped to the defence of Victoria's revamped quarantine program amid fears the virus has leaked from hotels.There have been five Covid cases across three Victorian quarantine hotels within a week, with three confirmed to be the more infectious UK strain of the virus.