Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has lashed out at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews over the premier’s handling of COVID-19 during a heated interview with ABC News Breakfast.
The Morrison Government is demanding that the premier state what the appropriate level of new cases in Victoria would be for him to open up Stage 4 restrictions. They are also looking for the premier to provide a “definitive plan” out of the current Victorian lockdown.
“Hundreds of people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs,” said Mr Frydenberg in the particularly fiery interview with ABC’s Michael Rowland. “What we need now is for the Victorian government to provide a more detailed roadmap.”
Strict lockdown restrictions across Victoria have had a large impact on the state economy. Household spending has decreased 30 per cent, compared to just three per cent in the rest of the country.
The hospitality and accommodation sectors have also been hit by the restrictions, with them plunging 60 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.
More Victorians are expected to be on JobKeeper wage subsidies by the end of the year than the rest of the country combined.
“If these statistics from the Australian Treasury are not enough to bring forward an economic plan from Daniel Andrews to take Victorians out of Stage 4 restrictions I don’t know what will,” said Mr Frydenberg.
With more than 100 infections still being recorded across Victoria every day, Mr Andrews has been hesitant to outline a roadmap out of the current state-wide restrictions. However, Mr Frydenberg disagrees.
“We haven’t seen a definitive plan from the Victorian Premier and just yesterday he said it is too early for that. Well I disagree with him on that and so do Victorian businesses and a lot of Victorian families.”
Mr Frydenberg went on to compare the Victorian economy to that of New South Wales, claiming the NSW economy is ‘open’.
“The damage to the Victorian economy will go for years and it’s worse than first thought. That is why the Victorian Premier needs to provide a roadmap out of Stage 4.”