The Victorian government’s controversial pandemic bill is in disarray after former minister Adem Somyurek announcing he would vote against the legislation in its current form.
The legislation was set to narrowly pass parliament this week with the support of three key crossbenchers, but a Victorian government motion to delay the vote for MPs to consider amendments passed 20 votes to 17 in the upper house on Thursday morning.
This came after Somyurek, who was forced out of the Labor party over a branch stacking scandal, said he would return to parliament to oppose the bill after belatedly proving his vaccination status on Wednesday.
The Coalition voted against the adjournment.
In a piece published in the Herald Sun, Somyurek said the bill could lead to a “tyranny to rule by decree” and did not have enough checks and balances to keep the leader of the day accountable.
“Had I continued to be a member of the Andrews cabinet, I would have argued this bill is a bad idea because it gives too much power to the government,” he wrote.
“Without meaningful parliamentary oversight and independent review mechanisms as Victorians we all risk the prospect of being unjustly governed by a Coalition despot in the future.