Coronavirus threat prompts health emergency laws to be rushed through Queensland Parliament


February 04, 2020 06:50:53

New legal guidelines permitting authorities to have extra time to search out and doubtlessly detain suspected coronavirus victims are being rushed via the Queensland Parliament.

Key factors:

  • The legal guidelines enable an emergency officer to order an individual to remain in, or steer clear of, sure locations
  • Individuals who refuse could possibly be fined or arrested by police
  • Well being Minister Steven Miles says the legal guidelines are essential to hold Queensland remoted from the virus

The sweeping powers permitting authorities to drive folks into quarantine or bear medical exams have been declared every week in the past.

However they expire late on Wednesday, as below present legal guidelines they’ll solely be enacted for seven days.

Queensland Well being Minister Steven Miles stated he wanted an extension of not less than three months to make sure efforts to include the lethal virus weren’t stalled.

“A public well being emergency order offers emergency officers appointed below the Public Well being Act with wide-ranging powers to handle any well being threats and hold Queenslanders protected,” he stated.

“It permits emergency officers to require an individual to stay at a selected place or cease an individual from going to a selected place, require an individual to supply an emergency officer with assist when requested, and varied different powers to handle public well being dangers.

“We want these powers to ensure if folks select to not observe the requests of our well being officers that they’ll drive them to take action.

“These are broad powers and we would not be making this legislation if we didn’t assume it was needed in these circumstances.

“However I believe given the extent of concern, given the recommendation from businesses that this is likely one of the quickest spreading new viruses they’ve seen, the chance now we have right here to maintain Queensland protected and remoted from this virus is actually vital.”

There could be hefty fines of $13,300 for anybody who refused to adjust to an order from a chosen emergency medical officer.

The particular person could possibly be referred to the police and, topic to the powers police already had, could possibly be arrested and finally jailed.

Nevertheless, Mr Miles stated, thus far, no-one had refused an order to self-isolate or avoid faculties, little one care amenities or TAFE schools.

The measures have been in place in Queensland since 2005 however solely been enacted as soon as earlier than in 2009 in the course of the world swine flu epidemic.

Mr Miles stated he hoped to introduce the invoice into State Parliament as we speak and have it handed by the top of the week.

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