Daniel Andrews’ city-centric shutdowns are unfairly costing jobs in regional Victoria.
Victorian food service businesses had planned to reopen to 50 people on Monday under a planned easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said the Andrews Labor Government had blindsided country businesses with its last minute backflip.
“Many regional towns have never recorded a single positive coronavirus case, but Daniel Andrews has dragged us back into lockdown because of outbreaks in Melbourne,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our local restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars have hired and rostered extra staff, stocked the fridges and worked hard to make sure they are compliant with Victoria’s COVID-19 public health guidelines.
“But Daniel Andrews is constantly shifting the goal posts and it’s costing local jobs.
“The Government now says it’s considering a targeted lockdown of high risk suburbs in Melbourne, but this must go both ways by allowing businesses in low risk regional towns to safely move towards business as normal.”
Country Victorians are also frustrated by the continued enforcement of work from home restrictions until July 31.
Mr Walsh said COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria must be common sense.
“Daniel Andrews’s blanket ban on all Victorians going back to the workplace unfairly disadvantages regional communities, particularly those that have never recorded a positive case of COVID-19,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews sent the message that it’s okay to break the rules when he allowed 10,000 protestors to meet in Melbourne’s CBD a few weeks ago – in direct breach of social distancing rules.
“Daniel Andrews needs to explain why his mismanagement of coronavirus should cost country Victorians’ jobs.”