19 October 2021: 4 MP’s Suspended

Four MP’s in Victoria’s Upper House were just suspended for failing to comply with new vaccine mandate requirements. What does this mean for the prospect of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 obtaining enough votes in the Upper House?

First, what does the suspension mean? Some argue that preventing elected MP’s from voting is an anti-democratic move, and one legal scholar questions the constitutionality of the suspensions. The four suspended MP’s, including the two Liberal Democrat crossbenchers, will still be able to participate in parliament remotely and ask questions as normal. However, they will not be permitted to vote on legislation. Unless the Victorian Government amends the suspension motion, or the suspended MP’s decide to comply with the requirement, the suspension expires on the second sitting day of parliament in February 2022. 

The four suspended MP’s represent 10% of the 40 Upper House MP’s. With the absence of independent Adem Somyurek as well as the absence of the four suspended MP’s, the government needs a majority of votes out of 35 votes in total. This should make it easier for any government bill to pass.