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Statement on regional Victoria moving to the Third Step

Regional Victorians have done the heavy lifting to stop the spread of COVID-19 with restrictions to be eased from 11.59pm tomorrow night (Wednesday 16 September).

Each and every country Victorian has been forced to make massive sacrifices to get to this point.

People have given up time with family and friends.

We’ve missed weddings and saying a final farewell to those who are most important to us.

Businesses have closed and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their job.

While it was announced today kids will return to school in Term 4 and that some businesses, including beauty and personal care that have campaigned to reopen at the Third Step, will be able to safely reopen, many will continue to pay the price for Daniel Andrews’ incompetent mismanagement of hotel quarantine in Melbourne.

Despite very low case numbers across regional Victoria, restrictions on indoor dining will force our local cafes and restaurants to make tough decisions on whether it’s viable to open after months of little to no income.

Families will still have to make the painful choice of deciding which loved ones can attend weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies and who will miss out, under severe restrictions on public gatherings.

And the Andrews Labor Government still hasn’t resolved problems in the food supply chain that limit meat processors and distribution centres to two-thirds of their workforce as demand grows over spring and in the lead up to Christmas.

Regional Victorians have done the hard work to get to this point.

We’ve paid a heavy price for the Andrews Labor Government’s botched hotel quarantine and abysmal contact tracing.

Daniel Andrews dropped the ball before and it forced Victoria into the second wave.

Dan’s ‘Ring of Steel’ out of Melbourne has proved to be nothing but a ring of marshmallow. Businesses and communities will be relying on the government to step up enforcement so we can have confidence in recovery.

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