No-one really knows when, or if, we are going to have another COVID outbreak – but The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says we can have an effective and transparent process that will put an end to the financial destruction and emotional trauma of the Andrews Labor Government going in and out of lockdown at the drop of a hat.
Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews must immediately release the plans and frameworks his government has for future outbreaks of COVID-19 – “if he has any at all”.
He said right now the one thing Victorians, and especially regional Victorians, know from bitter experience, is that this government never has a plan for when it stuffs up.
“The least we deserve is clarity and certainty, not this ongoing knee jerk approach by Andrews and his incompetent team, the entire state has been in lockdown for the past five days because of the government’s failures to contact trace properly – again,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews said the system was fixed, but it clearly is not,” he said.
“Failures in hotel quarantine also remain; despite a multi-million dollar inquiry, with millions spent on legal fees for Andrews, his ministers and senior bureaucrats.
“The ramifications of this third lockdown have been widespread and will be long lasting – cancellation and delays in elective surgery are putting people’s lives at risk while cancellation of screening means people won’t get timely treatment.
“Most frighteningly, we’re experiencing a mental health crisis and the impacts to the economy due to small businesses closing are going to be felt for years to come.”
Mr Walsh said 13 cases in six local government areas should have been managed with a measured and proportionate response – not the Premier’s usual sledgehammer.
He said Victorians won’t forgive or forget Labor for not telling the truth about the cause of the third lockdown.
“This is a Premier who also refuses to release the health advice he’s making these decisions on,” Mr Walsh added.
“Andrews is simply hellbent on exerting power over the citizens of Victoria rather than being able to manage outbreaks in a calm and sensible way,” he said.
“Daniel Andrews needs to put his ego and arrogance aside; and learn from NSW, which has managed outbreaks so well. NSW has had 125,000 returned travellers and Victoria only 35,000. The figures and outcomes could not be starker.
“Every Victorian is paying the price for Andrews’ arrogance, lies and cover-ups – but the damage across regional Victoria means too many won’t be able to afford the cost.”