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Member For Western Victoria, Bev McArthur

Bad day for Victoria

Bad day for Victoria

Member For Western Victoria, Bev McArthur

Message from Bev McArthur

The reason the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has gained the title Dictator Dan – is because he is one.

From 6pm yesterday, anyone in Australia wanting to come to Victoria will need to apply for a permit. This also means Victorians need permits from the State to travel outside of Victoria if they wish to return. This has to be a world first.

Yesterday’s decision by the Premier to implement the permit system with just a few hours’ notice represents an unnecessary new low in Victoria’s fight against the Coronavirus in Australia.

Liberal Member for Western Victoria, Bev McArthur, said it is outrageous at a time when border controls are not needed and indeed, should never have used to control the movement of Australians. It is also potentially insulting coming from the Premier who has had the worst virus results in Australia.

“We should be one Australia, not a series of dislocated fiefdoms presided over by fear mongering servants of the people and divided by arbitrary lines on a map of an island continent,” Mrs McArthur said.

“This is the stuff of a dictator – controlling the movement of people and what they do.

“With the virus having been around for nearly a year now, it’s time we started to think of ways to live with and manage COVID-19, rather than dream up new restrictive measures to make people’s lives more difficult,” she said.

The traffic-light system of Red, Orange and Green Zones each come with their own set of rules and fines and are determined by where people have travelled in Australia.

“The Premier has indicated that the zones – in other states - will be at the discretion of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer based on the ‘public health risk’. What ‘public health risk’? Prove it, Premier. And what of the ‘health risk’ to those so adversely affected by such regulations?

“The virus is not going away anytime soon, with or without a vaccine. And for control obsessed Premiers, like Andrews and McGowan to constantly change the goalposts to keep citizens under State jurisdiction, is dictatorship 101 stuff. First it was numbers of community transmission, then interstate infections, now a vaccine and guess what, next it will be no or very low international positive cases. Pursuing elimination strategies is a nonsense. Managing hospital numbers is what matters.

“This new Victorian system has been implemented at the click of a finger. No warning. No time for people to prepare or change. And that could happen again at any time in the future. Control is what matters in Victoria, not competent management

“At no stage have Victorians been supplied the public health data that has led to any of these decisions – and now we exist at the behest of the most random, dictatorial curtailment and imposition of our movement that we have ever known in Australia.

“If National zones were to be implemented – one would at least expect a Federal Government to be at the helm of such decisions, not a State Premier drunk with power.

“Instead, we have a Victorian bureaucrat and Premier determining how every Australian, especially Victorian, lives. A Premier and CHO who clearly have no faith in their own quarantine and contact testing and tracing regime.

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“This is as offensive as it is wrong. It is another nail in the coffin of democracy, freedom and personal liberty as well as commerce, trade and employment.

“What of the impact on families continually separated; patient movements to interstate hospitals for specialist care; commercial enterprise; tourists, finally game enough to book a holiday in Victoria; and students returning for study?

“Even the WA app works smoothly allowing people to come and go and apply for permits. But not Victoria’s system, home of ‘the best’ in the nation but clearly, in practice, the worst in the country.

“This decision will resonate deeply across Australia. It will stop people coming here for fear of further random and draconian decisions.

“For as long as this Andrews Government is in place – the nation – families across Australia – are at the mercy of such dictatorial decision making.

“Australians are at the whim of a bureaucracy that has so far shown little other than complete incompetence with quarantining and contact tracing systems. They are far from the best in Australia despite the Premier’s backslapping of himself.

“This is a bad day for Australia and a very bad day for this state,” Mrs McArthur said.

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