11 September 2020


Premier is teasing regional Victorians with prospect of eased restrictions

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty says Premier Daniel Andrews is only teasing regional Victoria with the prospect of the easing of restrictions.

After the Premier announced yesterday that regional Victoria could move closer towards opening up as early as next week, Mr Quilty said it would be better for Mr Andrews to say less and deliver more.

“Clearly the Premier has never heard of the old adage ‘underpromise and overdeliver’ because he seems intent on setting expectations which he will then probably not deliver on,” Mr Quilty said.

“What he is doing now is holding the prospect of a way out of restrictions over the heads of regional Victorians, who have already met the criteria, while knowing that keeping the statewide rules will stop it from actually happening.

“He is happy to create anger and resentment, then blame us for not following his rules.”

Mr Quilty said he will be asking the Premier in Parliament to follow a different path when deciding on regional Victoria’s restrictions.

“I will be reading a motion in Parliament on Tuesday calling on the Government to treat different parts of regional Victoria as separate entities,” Mr Quilty said.

“Treating us different to Melbourne is not enough – he needs to allow different parts of Victoria to get back to normal at their own rates, and not determine Mildura’s way forward according to what’s happening in Mallacoota.

“There are so many communities in Victoria, each in a different situation - and it is wrong that Mr Andrews tries to make them all dance to his one tune.”

Mr Quilty said the Premier’s roadmap towards COVID Normal would be much more effective if it was applied to distinct smaller regions.

“We are told we are all going to the Second Step on Monday, but the Third Step – where we will move towards normality with no restrictions on leaving our homes and being able to enjoy dining out – will only happen when all of regional Victoria has fewer than five new cases daily and there are zero cases with an unknown source over a 14-day period,” Mr Quilty said.

“This is again Mr Andrews teasing us, because any mystery cases in Mallacoota would severely affect Mildura. North East Victoria already qualifies to be released, as do many other parts of the state.

“The Premier likes to dangle carrots in front of us and then will blame us for not behaving if case numbers increase.”

Mr Quilty said that if regional Victoria had its own government focussed on regional interests, we wouldn’t have these problems.

“The government of a separate regional state would understand the needs of different areas of that state, and would have a much deeper understanding of what is required,” Mr Quilty said.

“The sooner we have our Rexit, and create a new regional state focused on regional people’s lives and interests, the better those lives will be.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819