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Fifth death confirmed at Newmarch House aged care home
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The emergency laws that passed Victorian parliament yesterday as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus should be overseen by an independent committee, human rights commissioner Kristen HIlton has said.
Hilton, who is the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, said some of the measures introduced in the Covid-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 would have an impact on human rights, particularly changes relating to the management of prisons, the restriction of visitors, and changes to the way court proceedings are carried out.
She said those impacts were reasonable but must be closely monitored. “During a state of emergency, some limitations on human rights may be unavoidable – and these are not decisions we can take lightly. Any restriction on human rights must be necessary, justifiable, proportionate and time-bound,” Hilton said.
She added: “The government should establish an independent committee to scrutinise the response, that is informed by human rights expertise and can hear directly from the public. This is critical in maintaining public confidence and transparency.”
The Victorian opposition called for the establishment of such a committee, but the deputy Nationals leader, Steph Ryan, said the government refused to establish a committee with a non-government majority.
Hilton said the Victorian Government had filed a statement of compatibility, to show that the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities had been carefully considered in the drafting of the laws, but that did not do away with the need for continual monitoring and independent oversight.
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Perth airport blocks four Virgin planes over $16m debt
Perth airport says it has blocked four Virgin planes from being moved because the airline owes it $16m in airfield and terminal use fees.
An airport spokeswoman said Qantas has also “unilaterally” refused to pay $20m in fees, although there’s no sign of any bulldozers in front of jets sporting the flying kangaroo yet.
The spokeswoman said: “Virgin has significant outstanding invoices from Perth airport for airfield and terminal use charges – money the airline has already collected from its passengers and the FIFO sector.
“While Perth airport is working with the Virgin administrators, it also needs to protect its own interests.
“Perth airport has taken liens over a number of Virgin aircraft – a standard practice in these situations.”
The terminal Virgin usually uses,T1, is closed and the planes in question aren’t currently in use due to the coronavirus crisis.
But Virgin continues to operate charter flights from T2 for the Fifo – fly-in-fly-out – workers in Western Australia’s mining industry.
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