9 August 2021

Regional lockdown a mistake which should never have happened, says an angry Tim Quilty

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty says the lockdown of regional Victoria was a mistake that should never have happened.

Mr Quilty made his comment as the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, announced regional Victoria’s lockdown will end tonight at 11.59pm.

“Of course I’m relieved that this unjustified lockdown is ending and that the Victorian Government has belatedly admitted the mistake it has made, but it should never have happened in the first place,” Mr Quilty said.

“We knew on day one of our imprisonment that the decision was based on a mistake, so it’s disappointing it has taken this long for that mistake to be acknowledged in this roundabout way.

“I don’t expect Mr Andrews to put his hand up and admit he was wrong, but I’m angry our communities have had to go through yet more suffering before today’s backflip.”

Mr Quilty said it is vital the Victorian Government learns from this mistake and listens to regional communities.

“So many families have suffered, so many businesses have been facing permanent closure and the tolerance for lockdowns in the regions has completely evaporated,” Mr Quilty said.

Mr Quilty called for a wider focus on health as part of a move away from using case numbers to justify callous lockdown decisions.

“I’d like to see a greater focus on the wellbeing of Victorians, the state of our mental health, and not this blinkered concentration on how many new cases we have had,” Mr Quilty said.

“That’s a simplistic way for the Premier to signal to his supporters that he’s protecting them, and he’s using it to maximum effect.

“I’d like to see him provide information about the number of closed businesses, the number of families facing poverty, and the number of people who have chosen to take their own lives as a direct result of his decisions.

“We need to start moving the public away from the obsession with zero cases. Coronavirus is not going away. Even if we crush this outbreak, another will follow. At some point we are going to have to unlock and learn to live with the virus.”