Tuesday, 24 August 2021
I rise to speak to the people of Victoria to give them hope, which, after 200 days of lockdown, they're fast running out of. I address the businesses there that are missing out on proper support, like that being given in New South Wales, and the people of Victoria who have been locked in their homes for over 200 days due to a lack of proper public health policy by the Andrews government. Even today we are seeing testing numbers in New South Wales of 138,000, whereas in Victoria it's still only 48,000. I wonder what the case numbers would be like if Victoria could test as well as New South Wales and if they could contact-trace as well as New South Wales could. All we hear from those on the other side—and we heard Senator Watt just a moment ago—is them blaming the Prime Minister for what's happening in Dubbo. I've not heard one senator on the other side say one word about Victoria and the place that it finds itself in.
People are losing hope. The national plan that has been agreed by all premiers is there to give them that hope. Yet premiers like Premier Andrews and Premier McGowan talk about not honouring that plan, even though it's a plan that they agreed to and put their names to. If they're not going to honour their word, they need to come out and say to the Victorian people and people more generally in Australia that their word is not their bond, that they're not worthy of their word and that they won't follow it. They need to give Victorians hope. Dan Andrews: promise that we'll have the grand final; promise us that we'll have the Melbourne Cup. Give people hope.