There’s a lot of talk about recovery from COVID-19 shutdowns but months after the harsh lockdown ended, I’m still hearing the same message: the Andrews Government’s focus is in all the wrong places.
This week we learned that Daniel Andrews is sitting on millions of dollars in small business grants that was intended to be a lifeline to get them on track to recovery.
Yet he’s poured at least $7.7 million into legal fees to hide the truth of what went wrong in Labor’s bungled hotel quarantine program.
It’s a hard pill to swallow for hundreds of thousands of Victorians whose livelihood was decimated by COVID restrictions and border closures.
The Liberal Nationals know that hundreds of thousands of Victorian jobs and small businesses depend on our agriculture, tourism and international education industries.
We’re urging the Victorian Government to adopt our plan for recovery.
This should include working with National Cabinet on a national approach to the definition of ‘COVID hotspots’ and to ensure that border closures are only implemented as a last resort.
A dedicated facility should be immediately established in regional Victoria for the quarantine of seasonal workers to get them on-farm and helping our farmers harvest crops, before they rot.
Other measures that must be implemented are further rounds of the tourism vouchers program – including for travel to Melbourne – and a blueprint to bring international students back to Victoria for study this year.
Businesses, employees and communities will need more support as we rebuild our economy post the COVID second wave.
Leader of The Nationals