The Andrews Labor Government must release the health advice that underpins its decision that recommends visitors to Victoria’s alpine region get COVID-19 tested prior departing metropolitan Melbourne.
Today the Government downgraded the ‘demand’ for testing to a ‘recommendation’ for testing without any additional evidence or explanation.
What this will mean is that very few, if any, will go through the process of being tested before they head off.
Ski resorts were blindsided by the call for compulsory testing as no other activity in Victoria required participants, visitors or spectators to complete a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of partaking in the activity.
The Andrews Labor Government needs to provide an even playing field for all Victorian activities instead of creating new rules and regulations on the fly.
Ski resorts and nearby towns and communities have suffered due to harsh COVID-19 restrictions which limited their 2020 season to only a handful of days.
Nearby communities including Marysville, Mansfield and Bright rely heavily on visitation during the snow season. School holidays are starting in the next week and these communities are going to feel the pinch if families don’t travel to the ski fields due to the Andrews Labor Government COVID-19 testing rule.
The Andrews Labor Government is failing Victorians with its botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and tough restrictions.
New South Wales has consistently outperformed Victoria in managing COVID-19 and having a recovery plan. This will certainly give New South Wales skiing fields an edge for visitation and employment opportunities over Victoria.
Victoria has already lost the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach to New South Wales due to harsh COVID-19 restrictions, we do not need a reason to lose the ski season too.
Tourism in Victoria has already been hit hard by Labor’s four lockdowns, and more needs to be done to keep these struggling businesses afloat.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:
“This is a back flip the Labor Government has tried to disguise. They got it wrong by creating an uneven playing field and they know it.
“The Liberal Nationals understand that it is simply unfair that the Andrews Labor Government has singled out ski fields.
“The decision not only effects the ski resorts, it will take its toll on surrounding communities who rely on the business of the ski season, especially during the school holidays.
“The city-centric Labor Government needs to focus on helping the ski resorts and communities get back on their feet rather than scaring potential visitors away.”