This is a profound disappointment. Of course, Victorians do not want to face another lockdown and of course they don’t want all of this to have been for nothing. That is why ensuring the State Government’s capability to deal with outbreaks through their public healt h response is so essential. This is what you need for Victoria to open up safely and stay safely open.
Borders and closures are not indicators of public health success. They are the opposite.
Victoria’s infection rate is now below the Victorian Government’s own target of a 14 day rolling average of fewer than 5 cases per day to further reduce restrictions. It is also well below the Commonwealth’s hot spot definition, based on the advice of the acting Chief Medical Officer, of a rolling average of fewer than 10 cases per day over 3 days.
During this time, the Victorian Government has greatly benefitted from the cooperation of the Victorian public and business community who have paid a significant price as a result of the prolonged lockdown measures.
The Commonwealth Government has also provided significant assistance from the ADF, medical and technical experts with the management of the lockdown and boosting Victoria’s contact tracing systems.
The Victorian Government has stated that they have now significantly improved their contact tracing capabilities to deal with any future outbreaks. Such capacity has been critical to enabling NSW to deal with numerous outbreaks, whilst staying open.
If this is the case, then we strongly encourage the Victorian Government to rapidly take the next steps to implement the National Framework and mirror the NSW COVID Safe restrictions for the sake of health, mental health and halting the loss of more than 1,000 jobs per day.
The Australian Government will continue to support Victorians through this crisis through our record economic and income supports. We will also continue to work with the Victorian Government to assist them to strengthen their public health and contact tracing capacity.