Retail and hospitality have been forgotten about at every step of the way, and in comparison to NSW, they will have a much longer wait before they can open again. In Labor’s plan for reopening, many retail businesses will be forced to trade outside and through click and collect only—something that is an unviable option for many Victorian businesses. Not only is this affecting retail, but hospitality will also be heavily restricted. Venues with outdoor facilities will be able to open prior to those who do not have such space, but only in an ad hoc manner. These eased restrictions seem to have forgotten the struggling small businesses of Victoria who need to open up now; not to make a profit, but to be able to afford to eat. It’s as if this Labor government doesn’t really understand what a small business is!
While this pandemic is the first ever faced for the majority of the world, and everyone is learning as much as possible as we go, the Andrews government does not seem to have learnt anything at all from its experiences only last year.
Not only does Victoria hold the unenviable title of being the longest locked down location in the world, it was also the only Australian jurisdiction to lose complete control of COVID alpha, which tragically cost 800 Victorians their lives.
It has certainly not been a surprise to those who have had to watch this band of incompetents up close for far too long, that Victoria, despite the Premier’s huff and puff, would eventually lose complete control of COVID delta, and in doing so, set a further unwanted record of daily case numbers.
It has now been months since Premier Andrews announced that, unlike NSW, Victoria would only require a short, sharp lockdown.
We have now been under strict lockdown conditions for far too long, and even the hardiest are now struggling with their mental health.
Yet the Premier and his sidekick heath minister continue to use this whole situation as some kind of macabre joke, where they play guess the numbers of cases, deaths and tests, but apparently neither the Premier or minister have a clue about how many days Victorians have to put up with this sideshow before they will give Victorians back their freedom.
Victoria needs an unequivocal commitment from Premier Andrews that we will follow the national plan, or if he can’t quite bring himself to do that, then at the very least he must provide an alternative clear and concise plan that spells out exactly what will happen and when and if there are any conditions that would bring those measures forward or push them back.
Under the Victorian Liberal-Nationals plan to reopen, recover and rebuild the state of Victoria, once our state reaches the national cabinet’s agreed 70 per cent vaccination rate, retail businesses and hospitality will be able to open with one person per 4 square metres in all indoor spaces and one person per 2 square metres outside. Victorians are begging for their freedom but at this point would settle for at least a little certainty.