Controversial Bill passes as bid to scrap 5km rule fails

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A bid to scrap Victoria’s 5km movement limit has failed in parliament, with the Andrews Government’s coronavirus omnibus Bill set to become law after clearing the state’s upper house in a late-night sitting.

The laws passed the Legislative Council, 21 votes to 16, just before 2am on Wednesday after the government agreed to amendments that scrapped controversial powers to detain Victorians over public health orders.

The vote was briefly complicated after the State Opposition attached their own amendment that would have done away with Melbourne’s 5km travel limit.

But these changes were eventually knocked back after failing to attract enough support from crossbench MPs.

The omnibus legislation will return to the lower house where it is expected to sail through under Labor’s majority.

It sparked outrage when first introduced after a group of prominent QCs and retired judges warned it would give authorised powers unprecedented and excessive powers.

The Andrews Government last week agreed to water down this legislation, giving it the support it needed to pass through.

The Bill also extends changes introduced at the start of a pandemic, including a moratorium on evictions and laws allowing for council and committee meetings to be held online.

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