The Premier of Victoria has declared a ‘state of disaster’ pursuant to the Emergency Management Act 1986 (Vic) s 23. The declaration applies to ‘six Local Government Areas and the Alpine Resorts’.
As a result of that declaration (s 24)
… the Minister [for Emergency Services] is responsible for directing and co-ordinating the activities of all government agencies, and the allocation of all available resources of the Government, which the Minister considers necessary or desirable for responding to the disaster.
The declaration allows the Minister to:
(a) direct any government agency to do or refrain from doing any act, or to exercise or perform or refrain from exercising or performing any function, power, duty or responsibility
And, in a provision that is I think unique to Victoria:
(b) if it appears to the Minister that compliance by a government agency with an Act or subordinate instrument, which prescribes the functions powers duties and responsibilities of that agency, would inhibit response to or recovery from the disaster, declare that the operation of the whole or any part of that Act or subordinate instrument is suspended;
That is the Minister can direct any department to depart from ‘business as usual’ and can suspend any Act or regulation if compliance with that Act or regulation would inhibit the response to or recovery from the disaster. That is significant executive power vested in a single Minister.