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South Australian MPs are calling for residents and political members isolating with COVID-19 to be allowed greater voting flexibility ahead of the upcoming state election.
Today, Labor and independent MPs returned to the lower house, calling for those isolating with COVID-19 to be able to vote over the phone and condemning the Liberal party for failing to act sooner.
The opposition and cross-benchers pushed for a legislative change to voting rights over the use of Emergency Management Powers.
“No one should be denied the right or the ability to have a say on their state’s future,” opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said.
“Steven Marshall has had two years to prepare for this moment.”
Independent MP Dan Cregan backed the need for a revised voting system.
“This is an issue that should have been resolved by consensus, we should never have got to this point,” he said.
Due to the absence of government, parliament did not sit, meaning no new laws were passed.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall did not make a media appearance for the first time since December 27.
“This is just a massive political stunt, Pete’s pantomime with his puppets behind him,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
The government said Labor delayed its bill to amend the issue in December, and it is now too late for the electoral commission to accommodate phone voting.
“They’ve said even if you passed the bill this week, we cannot implement telephone voting for this particular election,” Mr Lucas said.
“It’s a cop-out, quite frankly. At the end of the day I think it’s snubbing the people of South Australia,” Independent MP Geoff Brock said.