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Legal action taken against Melbourne’s much-hated curfew

Australia's beach. Photo: News.com.au. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MELBOURNE, Sep 15, 2020, News.com.au. Just last Friday, Daniel Andrews made clear he wouldn’t budge on Melbourne’s controversial curfew. As part of stage four restrictions, Melburnians are not allowed to leave their homes between 9pm and 5am, unless they need to go to work, seek medical care or need to provide caregiving, News.com.au reported.

“Let me be really clear with you – the curfew position at the moment will not be changing,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

“Because it is working. It is working. And if you don’t limit movement, you won’t limit the number of cases. And what everyone wants to get up and stay open simply won’t happen.”

But now, the Victorian Premier might not have a choice: documents were filed in Victoria’s Supreme Court this afternoon to have the curfew removed.

Mornington Peninsula restaurateur and single mother-of-three Michelle Loielo, who filed the suit, has accused the curfew of violating her rights to freedom, liberty and security.

“Since the implementation of the curfew I would describe the home environment for my children and I as absolutely suffocating,” she said in an affidavit filed with the court.

“Looking after the mental and emotional wellbeing of my children, coupled with the pressure of trying to keep my business afloat, has taken a significant toll on my health.

“The social isolation from my family and friends has been unbearable.”

Ms Loielo has asked the Supreme Court to either rule the curfew unlawful, or quash the Stay At Home Directions that stipulate it.

The court documents argue Victoria’s deputy public health commander Michelle Giles “failed to give any real independent consideration to whether it was appropriate to make the curfew”, AAP reports.

They also claim the curfew direction is invalid on grounds of irrationality and illogicality and that the curfew is not reasonably proportionate nor based on relevant and reliable evidence in line with public health laws.

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