The North East needs to be on par with NSW when it comes to coronavirus restrictions, according to the state opposition leader.
Michael O'Brien was grilled by Benambra electorate residents on Tuesday night in an online Q&A hosted by local MP Bill Tilley, with many asking for no "finger pointing" or "pollie waffle".
Mr O'Brien said NSW has "got it right" during the COVID-19 pandemic and the North East needs to be on the same level with their southern NSW neighbours.
"Regional Victoria, in particular the North East, should not be tied to Melbourne," he said.
"We are going to have to learn to live with this damn virus, and one way to live with it is how NSW has done a pretty decent job.
"Pains me to say as a Victorian but NSW has got it right.
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"We needed to go for a suppression strategy, like NSW has done, backed up by great testing and great contact tracing and stay open, that is what we should be doing and what I would be doing if I was in the chair."
Plenty of questions were fired at the opposition leader from passionate Benambra residents, with many focused on getting regional Victoria out of restrictions.
Mr O'Brien said the "ridiculous restrictions" in the regions needed to go now.
"I think they have been unnecessary and regional Victoria should be adopting the NSW rules now," he said.
"We have no cases outside Shepp and we still have all these ridiculous restrictions."
Other topics included mental health, what the government has gotten right during the pandemic, upgrades at Albury Wodonga Health, roads and small businesses.
Northern Victoria MP Wendy Lovell was also present.