By ALEX SINNOTT, The Weekly Times
July 1, 2020 1:59pm
REGIONAL Victoria should not be penalised for the Melbourne coronavirus outbreak, former agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie says.
The National Party senator criticised interstate leaders for taking a broad brushstroke approach to Victoria, with Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week blocking Victorians from visiting the Sunshine State.
More than 70 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Victoria today, the majority located within the newly designated lockdown zone covering Melbourne’s north-western suburbs.
“State premiers who say ‘we’re not letting Victorians in’ must realise Victoria is so much more than Melbourne, as we Victorians who choose to live outside Melbourne can attest,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Premiers who are seeking to make political points, political mileage in their home states from the spike that’s occurring in Melbourne need to accept that living with coronavirus is something we must do and we all need to change how we behave.
“This spike in certain areas of Melbourne is disappointing but all of Victoria should not pay the price.”
Border closure policy has been thrust into the defacto Queensland election campaign with Ms Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington trading barbs over the self-isolation move.
A social media post by Queensland Labor created a stir this week, claiming: “If it was up to Deb (Frecklington), Queensland would be flooded with Victorians.”
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday identified 10 postcodes in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs as coronavirus hotspots to be subject to a month-long localised shutdown.
More than 54,000 Melbourne households have been doorknocked as Victoria’s health department cracks down on coronavirus testing in virus hot spots.