A Wodonga MP has accused Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews of failing regional areas on the same day the Greens provided the necessary safe passage of state of emergency legislation through parliament.
Tim Quilty, the Liberal Democrats member for Northern Victorian in the Upper House, slammed the latest extension to the end of the year by declaring Victorians have "had enough".
"All we are looking for is a sign that the Andrews government actually gives a toss about the countless communities, students, business owners and workers who have suffered under these over-reaching emergency powers," he said.
The Greens have always backed a public health-led response to the pandemic but we've also had concerns about the ways the state government has implemented it.— Samantha Ratnam - Leader of the Victorian Greens (@SamanthaRatnam) March 2, 2021
That's why we've been having discussions with the Health Minister about these concerns in recent weeks. (1/4) #SpringStpic.twitter.com/P0Pi1jTaUZ
"We have been told we have to suffer snap lockdowns on the border because it's too hard to keep Melbourne residents at home.
"We simply do not matter to Daniel Andrews.
"He wants to keep regional Victorians under the yoke of emergency powers so that he can snap his fingers and force us all into lockdown for absolutely no reason."
Victoria has been in a continuous state of emergency since March 16 last year with the legislation already passing the Lower House.
Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, who also occupies a seat in the Upper House, said she would back the extension after the government agreed to a series of demands including a reduction in COVID fines for young people and confirmation of the right to protest.
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Member for Benambra Bill Tilley said a select few Upper House crossbenchers had sold the fears of everyday Victorians down the river with their support.
"This nine-month blank cheque leaves businesses with an uncertain future, the black cloud of a snap lockdown always threatening to close their doors, lock people in their homes and students out of school," he said.
"The Premier is already on the record saying he can't guarantee it won't happen again.
"NSW can target and isolate outbreaks, but not here in Victoria - a couple of cases in a hotel in Melbourne and everyone, even those 300km away, are locked down.
"That is this government's legacy and those who caved in today, have done so in the past for sweetheart deals that gave us Melbourne's drug injecting rooms and more recently laws that allow people to camp on farmers river frontages.
"We can only guess at what's next."
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