The slight easing of regional Victorian restrictions highlights Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ inability to govern for all Victoria, not just Melbourne, Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie says.
“While I welcome the premier’s belated acknowledgement regional Victoria is different to greater Metropolitan Melbourne it is incredibly disappointing regional COVID-19 free communities remain restricted because of his one-size-fits-all mentality,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The business support package announced today is a positive step forward but Wodonga is not Werribee or Waurn Ponds and the best way to support small businesses and local jobs is to fully open up COVID-19 free local economies based on Local Government Area.
“The latest Sensis Business Index says one in eight small to medium businesses are not expected to reopen after this pandemic which has seen hundreds of thousands of Victorians lose work.
“If Mr Andrews instead chose the commonsense approach of rolling back restrictions based on Local Government Areas, using his own guidelines, there’d be more than 35 Local Government Areas across rural and regional Victoria already open for business.
“The premier promised regional Victorian businesses would take another step forward in coming days and I call on him to honour that.
“It has been COVID-19 free rural and regional Australians who have borne the brunt of city-centric political agendas. They have done the right thing and just want to get on with life.
“It is un-Australian that state and territory leaders continue to put their own political agendas ahead of the national interest.”
Senator McKenzie reiterated her call for a national COVID-19 hotspot definition to end oppressive border and movement restrictions.
“It is imperative National Cabinet comes to the table and endorses a national COVID-19 hotspot definition,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It is very hard to kick a goal when you can’t see the goal posts, a national hotspot definition would give Australia a clear target to aim for as we all work together to get through this tragic pandemic.”
“For months I have been calling on state and territory leaders to deal with isolated outbreaks swiftly, securely and in isolation and it is definitions like these that would allow this to happen.
“I urge National Cabinet to show leadership for the good of all Australians.”
NOTE: Let the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews know what you think about COVID-free regions still being locked down. Vicn.at/messagetodan