Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the Andrews Labor Government has made a further mockery of its handling of lockdowns 1, 2 and 3 with the shambles surrounding lockdown 4.
Mr Walsh said the Liberal Nationals had plans to guide the state out of the pandemic but despite lockdown after lockdown, the Andrews Labor Government is still kneejerk reacting and clearly has no plan in place.
He said talking to business leaders and people in the financial community, it’s clear their biggest disappointment – across the board – was the lack of a plan.
“I have been liaising with people across my electorate and across the state; and they all want to know why, after all this time, we have a government lurching from day to day – and dragging the rest of us along with it,” Mr Walsh said.
“Any organisation worth its salt has emergency and/or contingency plans in place, yet here we are again; coming out of another lockdown, more businesses crippled by loss of income, and still no master plan or blueprint on how to manage the mess,” he said.
“Talking to Swan Hill based accountant Gary Tomamichel, a director of Logan and Hall, he said surely by now a government equipped with so many public servants could have come up with something like a multi-tier assistance package strategy; say a Level One for a total lockdown, and then levels two, three and so on depending on the situation.
“And he’s right and no, it hasn’t happened.”
Mr Tomamichel said with the latest round of emergency funding the speed with which it has been pulled together is seeing it starting to unravel from the get-go.
He said “it just astounds me why it seems to always be Victoria, are we the worst run state in the country when it comes to this sort of thing”?
“The lockdown has been two weeks in Melbourne and was one week in regional Victoria; but even though we are technically out of it for now there are still many restrictions in place,” Mr Tomamichel said.
“People have suggested to me, and it could happen, that we will have these lockdowns again and again.
“It may be an idea the Government develop a contingency or emergency plan in anticipation of these events reoccurring, so the whole spectrum of issues is well planned and thought through so it could then be as simple as invoking something like that multi-tier strategy.
“Because the current funding is still being cobbled together; we are already being confronted by a range of issues, including non-GST registered small business owners; a restrictive ANZIC code list, rules on the run (three changes already), restrictive funding eligibility, application timeframe and clarity on an appeals process and fixing issues before submission.
“Really the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions need to get its act together in administering this as it won’t be the last by any stretch of the imagination.”