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Treasurer sends strong message to Andrews: ‘Start spreading hope’

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
31 August 2020 1 minute readShare
Josh Frydenberg

The Treasurer has called on Premier Andrews to start spreading messages of hope by talking more about the “road out” of the state’s current tough lockdowns rather than about a “longer road in”.

Referring to Dan Andrews’ talk of extending emergency powers for another 12 months as a “real overreach”, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg appeared to take a swipe at Victoria’s Premier over the weekend, urging him to correct the “litany of failures”.

“Obviously, quarantine is the most graphic of that and we’ve heard expert evidence to the enquiry that 99 per cent of cases in the second wave in Victoria can be traced back to those quarantine failures, the rejection of the ADF support, testing and tracing which is not as good as it is in other states and, of course, now the overreach with emergency powers,” Mr Frydenberg said in an interview with Sky News over the weekend.

“And you’ve heard from no lesser body than the Australian Medical Association that what has transpired in Victoria has been like a slow car crash that everyone has been witnessing as it is occurring.”

Referring to the situation as “devastating”, the Treasurer urged Dan Andrews to start talking about the way out of stage 4 restrictions.  

“We’re only two weeks away from the end of the so-called stage 4 restrictions and businesses are in the dark as to how they’ll get their workers back and their doors open,” the Treasurer said.

“Kids need to know when, and if, they are going back to school. In Victoria, families are subject to lockdown 23 hours a day, you can’t move more than five kilometres from your home, there’s a curfew at night. These are the strictest of restrictions taking a huge toll on people’s mental health, but also on the economy.”

Speaking about the economy, Mr Frydenberg reiterated that Victoria’s lockdown is a “massive drag” on national economic recovery, with $10 billion to $12 billion expected to be wiped from the GDP.

On Monday, Mr Andrews provided assurance that he will detail the state’s plan for reopening, but not before Sunday.

Refusing to go into detail about what that plan may look like, Mr Andrews said another week’s data is “critically important to make sure the strategy continues to work”.

“Modelling scenarios being run through various supercomputers; there is an enormous amount of work going on, and we will be in a position to be able to share that roadmap, what it will look like its various components and phases, with the community on Sunday,” Mr Andrews said.

Everything, he said, will be based on case numbers over the next seven days.

“I am deeply, deeply grateful to every single Victorian who is staying the course, who is making their own personal contribution to a strategy that is defeating this virus. We will defeat this second wave.”

Treasurer sends strong message to Andrews: ‘Start spreading hope’
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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