8 May 2020


Tim Quilty calls on Premier to declare virus-free regional Victoria fully open

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has challenged Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to declare regional Victoria fully open.

Mr Quilty is reopening his Wodonga office and says it is now time to start winding back restrictions in regional Victoria, where there are no COVID-19 cases.

“The Premier has declared an intention to ease some restrictions from Monday, May 11, but is keeping us all on tenterhooks over the Mother’s Day weekend,” Mr Quilty said.

“Regional Victoria has suffered the pain of lockdown despite the absence of COVID-19 cases, which have been almost entirely in the greater Melbourne area.

“Meanwhile, our local economies are in freefall, many regional businesses are in suspension or have gone under. The statistics show that the social and economic pain which regional Victoria is suffering is because of the cases in Melbourne.

“The state of emergency ends on Monday, and I call on Mr Andrews to end restrictions in the regions too.”

Mr Quilty closed his High Street office at the end of March, having his team work from home as the Victorian Government imposed a set of draconian social isolation rules.

But Mr Quilty says enough is enough for regional Victorians.

“I have said from the start that Mr Andrews and his clique of ‘Super’ Ministers have gone far beyond what science supports in imposing these lockdown measures,” Mr Quilty said.

“We have seen a non-stop procession of confusing messages, overzealous police actions and nonsensical explanations of restrictions such as the ban on fishing, the closing down of the firearms industry and the destruction of our children’s education.

“Other States have seen sense and are winding restrictions back. Victoria has the opportunity on Monday to do the same. The expiration of the state of emergency gives Mr Andrews an opportunity to show all Victorians the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mr Quilty has been an outspoken critic of the Andrews Government’s “overreach” in imposing the lockdown restrictions.

“This Government has given itself extraordinary powers to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and I am deeply concerned about the abuse of our freedoms this has led to,” Mr Quilty said.

“This authoritarian style of government has no place in the 21st Century and Mr Andrews has treated each and every Victorian like a child.

“We deserve better than this. Mr Andrews and his colleagues will keep their jobs after this crisis but for thousands of Victorians, Mr Andrews’ actions have led to unemployment or the collapse of business dreams.

Mr Quilty’s office staff have returned to work and the front door will be unlocked to enable members of the public to enter, while respecting social distancing regulations.

“I am keen to get my office back to regular operation, and I want to see regional Victoria do the same,” Mr Quilty said.

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819