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With 500,000 Victorians jobless, set us all free

Opinion Piece

Date : 16 October 2020

Author: The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

Publication: The Herald Sun

Over recent months Daniel Andrews has said Victorians can be “very reassured” by the way the Federal Government is responding to the economic challenges created by Covid, and they can.

But I, like so many other Victorians, be they in the health, legal, business or broader community, will not be silenced nor stand by as our fellow Victorians lose their liberties and have their economic livelihoods damaged.

We are from Victoria and we are for Victoria.

The second wave, which has had such devastating consequences for Victoria, started with failures in hotel quarantine for which no one in the Victorian government has taken responsibility.

The second wave, which led to the lockdown, has taken an extreme toll on the mental health of Victorians and their economic prospects.

Now is time for the Victorian government to give Victorians their freedom back and allow businesses to reopen in a COVID-safe way. The jobs numbers from earlier this week showed Victoria’s effective unemployment rate at 14 per cent, compared to 7.5 per cent in New South Wales and a national average of 9.4 per cent.

Over the past two months, 127,000 Victorians have become effectively unemployed, taking the total in Victoria to more than 500,000.

Victorians comprised 26 per cent of Australia’s population, but now make up 40 per cent of Australia’s effectively unemployed.

It is now time to get Victorians back into jobs and back into work in a COVID-safe way.

The Morrison government will continue to support Victorians through this crisis.

As it stands, more than $31bn has already been delivered to Victorian families and businesses since March.

With more Victorians expected to be on JobKeeper in the December and March quarters than from all other states and territories combined, the federal government will continue to support Victorians to get to the other side of this crisis.

Josh Frydenberg is the Federal Treasurer

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