Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Statements by Members
It's appropriate you're in the chair, Speaker, because the great state of Victoria is back! Victorians have made huge sacrifices. Families have lost loved ones. Students lost six months of school. Teenagers have lost rites of passage. Workers have lost jobs. Small businesses have closed, and many are destined to never reopen. Families were locked in their homes for 23 hours a day. Everyone's mental health took a hit. Devastatingly, for some it was too much to bear. The front line wasn't in Spring Street or here in Canberra. The front line was hospitals, schools and communities, with barricades manned by nurses, doctors, teachers, carers and parents.
The privilege of Australia's geography has been that we can keep the virus out. The border should never have been breached. When it happened in Sydney, their contact-tracing system kicked in and stopped the spread. Sadly, the same cannot be said of my home state.
We now have a sustainable pathway, rebalanced from one suppressing freedom to one that trusts and respects Victorians. We hope the lessons have been learned. It didn't need to be this way. It should never have been this way. And that's why this is a victory for the people of Victoria, and no-one else.