17 June 2021

Ski field COVID test requirement will kill off Alpine economies, says Tim Quilty

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has condemned the Victorian Government’s ruling which demands visitors to ski fields must prove they are free of COVID-19.

While restrictions across regional and metropolitan Victoria have been easing, any visitors who wish to go skiing must provide evidence they have had a negative virus test.

Mr Quilty says this will effectively kill off Alpine economies, which rely heavily on income from tourists.

“This Government is incapable of getting something right, but they dress it up with the excuse of keeping the public safe – yet again, treating Victorians like idiots,” Mr Quilty said.

“We have all been doing this COVID theatre long enough to know about social distancing, keeping safe, cleansing our hands, and I’d suggest the Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, clamber down from his ivory tower and look at an average town centre.

“He will see Victorians doing the right thing, he will see shops and cafes doing the right thing – it’s high time he did the right thing too.

“This demand for a clear COVID test is proof this Government is completely out of touch.”

Mr Quilty said that with school holidays nearly upon us, ski holidays provide benefits for areas like Bright, Mt Beauty, Falls Creek and Mt Buller, as well as for visitors.

“Families will come to the snow for a break, for some exercise in the beautiful Alpine outdoors and, quite frankly, to get away from the suffocating rules which have been forced on Melbourne,” Mr Quilty said.

“Tourism businesses in the Alpine region have been gearing up for a welcome income boost through accommodation, food, equipment hire or sales, plus the inevitable gifts for the folks back home, but this will now be disappearing.

“Meanwhile, ski resorts in NSW will be rubbing their hands together, ready to do what Victoria cannot.

“If we can have community sport back in the cold of Victorian winter, if we can have unrestricted travel across the state, if we can have 7000 spectators at a footy match in Geelong, then I don’t see why an important regional Victorian business sector has to be strangled like this.”