Memo to Victorian premier, Dan Andrews:-
In response to calls for a plan to move towards ‘Covid-normal’, primarily from a cranky Federal Treasurer last week, you decided to make an announcement - instead of DOING SOMETHING!
Your madcap roadmap should include all areas of the state. Imposing the same restrictions throughout regional Victoria penalises the communities that have abided by the rules and brings with them unwarranted and unacceptable economic and mental health issues.
Those communities that have not had any cases of Covid-19 should be rewarded for doing the right thing. This particularly relates to the Upper Murray area of the Towong Shire which was devastated by the January bushfires and has been adversely affected by the NSW border closures. The community has rallied to get us on the road to recovery but Covid restrictions are hampering those efforts.
Time to think outside the square Premier. Instead of ring-fencing affected communities why not cordon off those that are pandemic free?
The police checkpoint at Shelley in the aftermath of the bushfires worked efficiently. If it was reinstated it would allow the Upper Murray community - which includes the border towns in the neighbouring Snowy Valleys Council in NSW - to show how we can get on with a ‘Covid-normal’ life.
Most importantly it would relieve the mental health stresses brought about by the bushfires and exacerbated by the pandemic lockdowns.
We have lost two young people who have died by their own hand in the past six months and it is beyond time to ensure that we look after each other during these extraordinary times.
Time to show some true leadership Premier Andrews.