The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, has encouraged Gippslanders to do the right thing – stay home, wear a mask and support local businesses as we face the challenge of stage 3 coronavirus restrictions.
Mr O’Brien said it was extremely frustrating for Gippslanders to be subject again to new restrictions when 99 per cent of people had done the right thing and our case numbers remain relatively low – zero in Wellington Shire.
“I understand people’s frustrations and I am absolutely heartbroken for the many businesses and employees who are suffering heavily, some of whom will lose their livelihoods.
“However Gippslanders are a very resilient bunch and we’ve already dealt with drought and bushfire this year and we will get through this latest setback.
“I am very conscious there are very strongly divergent views in the community. As I talk to people and engage with them electronically, I know there are some who are outraged at the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to reintroduce restrictions and the costs that it will bring to our local economy.
“Equally, there are others saying that we should go to stronger restrictions and that local MPs should support anything the government is doing.
“The balance needs to be somewhere in the middle and I am trying to provide information and support to my constituents to help us get through this challenging period.
“It is so important that we abide by the rules and stay home, wear a mask and practice good hygiene because doing so will hopefully lead to the lifting of restrictions sooner rather than later.
“At the same time it’s really important that we support our local businesses when we can, whether that’s in person for essentials or online to help businesses to keep going through the shutdown period.”
Mr O’Brien said he was conscious of frustration from many Gippsland communities about non-locals using holiday homes and has raised this with the government.
“I’ve asked the government to provide stronger policing for the boundaries with Melbourne but we all need to recognise that government and police can’t solve all our problems and people ultimately have to do the right thing.
“It’s also impossible for police to effectively stop every vehicle on every road out of Melbourne.
“If you have concerns or have seen evidence of wrong-doing then please call the police assistance line on 131 444.
“This is a frustrating, worrying and difficult time for all of us, but I know that working together, supporting our local businesses and communities, we will get through it.”