Call for local approach to restrictions

APPEALING FOR A LOCALISED APPROACH… Local Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum has appealed to the Victorian Government to adopt a localised approach to the lockdown. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, local Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum is calling on the Victorian Government to develop a localised approach to the lockdown.

Mr Drum said the Premier’s ‘roadmap’, released on Sunday, was a ‘roadblock’ for regional Victoria and again showed just how little he and his Labor government understood the regions they are supposed to represent.

“Regional Victorians living in areas free of the virus are crying out for greater freedom of movement,” Mr Drum said.

“Nobody wants to see this virus spread anywhere.

“But a blanket approach treating all regional Victorians the same lacks respect, lacks empathy, and is just plain lazy and dumb.”

Greater Shepparton has three active cases with one person in hospital, coming down from a daily high of 20 in mid-August, which included an infection in a Shepparton Villages aged care facility, Maculata Place. In total, 49 people in Greater Shepparton have tested positive to COVID-19.

Maculata Place reported yesterday all residents and staff have tested negative and the facility will move into active surveillance with communal areas being permitted to reopen with social distancing and masks being maintained.

Wendy Lovell, the State Member for Northern Victoria has made a similar appeal to the Victorian Government.

“Sunday’s announcement says the trigger to move to the ‘Last Step’ restrictions is no new COVID cases for 14 days across the whole of Victoria (including Metropolitan Melbourne),” said Ms Lovell.

“31 local government areas have not had a new case for at least two weeks, and three local government areas have never had a COVID case, yet the government is forcing all areas remain in lockdown.”

The impact of the lockdown is going to have significant impact on small business across the state.

Current projections are that more than 250,000 small businesses will be forced into closure over the next few months with over a million jobs permanently lost. Many small businesses in Shepparton are faced with the same dire outcome. The consequence of this disease is also dire. On current numbers, one in thirty people who contract it will die.