CHO’s extraordinary pandemic powers extended

State Parliament has passed laws extending the extraordinary powers of the Chief Health Officer after Opposition attempts to amend the legislation failed.

The extension of the powers allows the state’s top doctor to impose restrictions, vaccine mandates and other directives until the end of October.

The Opposition tried to only have the powers extended until the end of May but the Government had the numbers to block the move.


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It also sought for vaccine mandates to be scrapped but that was also rejected.

Health Minister Yvette D’ath said new legislation would have to be drafted if the CHO’s powers were only extended until May.

She also warned that the pandemic isn’t going to end then.

“To do so would be to ignore the fact that national cabinet, the national government, has recognised that this will go beyond May,” Ms D’ath told Parliament.

“For the foreseeable future there will continue to be unknowns. Government must have the tools to respond to preserve the health and safety of our people, to protect the community and mitigate disruption to
society.

“The government cannot do this without relying on the public health emergency powers included in this bill.”

The LNP also attempted to have a parliament oversight committee established and for the government to be forced to publicly release any health advice it receives.

But that too failed.

“We want the advice received by the government from the Chief Health Officer released for all Queenslanders to see. We want proper parliamentary oversight of these powers because, as we have all acknowledged in this chamber, the powers are extraordinary,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“I am calling on the government to listen. I am calling on the government to be fair.”