‘Extraordinary’ State Authority Must End as Australians Learn to Live With COVID-19: Treasurer

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the “extraordinary” powers given to state premiers during COVID-19 should slowly diminish as the economy bounces back and life returns to normal. “The pandemic’s been pretty unusual in the sense it’s elevated the role of premiers to a prominence, I suspect, they haven’t had for decades,” Frydenberg told The Australian Financial Review. “It’s been a bit confusing for the public because they normally look to the federal government to make the big decisions that affect their lives; whether it’s tax policy, or national security policy, or borders.” Many state premiers and chief health officers, who have emergency powers under the Biosecurity Security Act 2015 to impose public health orders, have also been very willing to announce snap lockdowns in response to single-digit cases. “Suddenly, you’ve got a state premier who tells you whether you can have a picnic with friends, whether you can go to …

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