Quarantine doesn't contravene Human Rights

Darren Cartwright

Being ordered into home detention during the COVID-19 pandemic was not a deprivation of human rights, a parliamentary committee has ruled.

The Queensland Labor Government introduced several measures in April and May under the Disaster Management Act, to stymie the outbreak of coronavirus.

One of those measures was the power to order a person to leave, or not to enter a premises, including their own home.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the law was to limit those identified as having, or suspected of having, COVID-19 from moving freely in public, to reduce the risks of transmission of the virus.

Under Article 12 of the Australian Human Rights Commission, every person within Queensland has the right to move freely within the state.

There is an exclusion for controlling the movement of persons around disaster situations.

The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee examines Bills to consider whether policies to be enacted are compatible with the Human Rights Act 2019.

On Thursday the committee, chaired by Labor MP Peter Russo, tabled a report finding the detention measure did not violate the Act.

"The committee considers the limits on human rights are reasonable and demonstrably justified, given the public health emergency and the overall objective of the regulation," the report stated.