The Andrews Labor Government must release the shackles holding back regional Victoria’s recovery by implementing New South Wales restrictions in country areas.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton today doubled down on the Andrews Labor Government’s unrealistic roadmap out of lockdown which will force regional Victoria to stay in more weeks of lockdown until case numbers improve in Melbourne.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh said the Government must urgently fast-track its roadmap out of lockdown for regional Victoria.
“Regional Victoria’s 14-day average is at 0.3 but unfairly harsh restrictions are still strangling the life out of small business and country communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our dance schools and gyms are closed, school students are spending more time out of the classroom and cafes, restaurants and pubs are struggling to make ends meet under unworkably low capacity limits.
“In comparison, New South Wales has managed to open up, while still recording low numbers of new cases each day.
“Immediately introducing NSW rules for regional Victoria, while still enforcing wearing of masks, will drive up business confidence and safely reopen our country communities.”
The changes, called for as part of the Liberal Nationals’ realistic roadmap to recovery, would mean no stay at home requirements, up to 20 visitors to your home, no intrastate travel restrictions and up to 10 people per restaurant booking. It would also allow for the reopening of schools and gyms and less restrictive limits on weddings, funerals and religious services.
Experts say Andrews’ restrictions are ‘too stringent’ and leading epidemiologists have demanded ‘tailored, precise, evidence-based responses’, instead of Labor’s sledgehammer approach.
The state’s peak business body, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has also backed safely easing restrictions early to get regional Victoria back to business.
“Blame for Victoria’s second wave lies squarely at the feet of the eight Andrews Ministers who botched our state’s response and let the virus slip through the cracks of hotel quarantine,” Mr Walsh said.
“With evidence showing that 99 per cent of cases in the second wave came from hotel quarantine, the Premier should follow the Health Minister’s lead and resign.”
Victorians who have lost confidence in the decisions of the Andrews Government are urged to voice their concerns at www.noconfidence.com.au