A move to use limited lockdowns, by LGA, gives some long overdue relief and certainty to regional Victorian families, businesses and communities.
Although it doesn’t make it any easier for those of us who still find ourselves in lockdown today, there was some relief last week when the Andrews Labor Government finally moved away from its policy of blanket lockdowns.
The Nationals have been driving the call for limited lockdowns to be used only as a last resort to stop the spread in hotspot areas.
We argued that towns with no active cases shouldn’t be living in fear of suddenly having to close because of outbreaks hundreds of kilometres away.
Securing this for our country communities is a heartening step forward, but it’s only the first.
A year and a half of snap statewide lockdowns has wrought catastrophic damage on our kids’ education, our mental wellbeing and our livelihoods.
There will be many regional Victorians rightly asking what changed in the past week for the Government to backflip on 18 months of arrogantly ignoring calls for a sensible approach.
As vaccination rates continue to rise, we all need certainty that we are on the road to recovery.
Country communities, in particular younger Victorians, are leading the way with high vaccination rates.
Nine of the top ten council areas recording the state’s highest vaccination rates are regional. Across regional Victoria, 50.87 per cent of people are fully vaccinated, while 79.09 per cent have had our first dose.
By comparison, metropolitan Melbourne’s at 42.59 per cent full vaccination.
The Nationals will keep fighting for certainty and a positive road forward for our country communities.
Leader of The Nationals
Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria