Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has hit back at Scott Morrison after the prime minster criticised the state’s roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Morrison on Monday said he hoped the exit out of lockdown was the “worst-case scenario” and said he’d like to see the state open quicker and with less stringent restrictions than outlined.
While Mr Andrews has repeatedly refused to get into a back-and-forth public feud with the federal government, he suggested he was far more across the situation in Victoria than the prime minister.
“If I can be so bold as to have a judgement on these things - I think I've got some insight into what's happening here in our state,” he said.
Mr Andrews said the worst-case scenario would be if the state opened up too early against the requests of doctors and the science.
“I'd say to the prime minister the worst case scenario is being open for three or four weeks and then closed down again,” he said.
NSW comparison ‘not helpful’
Mr Morrison on Monday said he was “struck” by the idea that Sydney would be in lockdown under Victoria’s roadmap with its current daily infection rate.
Yet Mr Andrews rejected such a claim on Tuesday, insisting the levels of community transmission his state has endured meant it couldn’t open up at between 10 and 20 daily infections.
“I don't think [NSW comparisons] are helpful or accurate in any way,” he said.
“The notion that NSW would be in certain settings if our rules applied to them. Well, of course, our rules don't apply to them. They're NSW and we're not in the same situation as them.”
Mr Andrews announced the state will be implementing a new localised contact tracing team in Melbourne to jump on and nullify small clusters before they accelerate.
Reporters grilled Mr Andrews on whether the move had come far too late and should have been introduced at the beginning of the second wave.
Mr Morrison on Monday called on the premier to ramp up the state’s contact tracing capabilities, identifying NSW as the “gold standard”.
The ABC’s medical expert Dr Norman Swan, who fronts the corporation’s coronavirus coverage, said on Tuesday questioned putting NSW on a pedestal, suggesting there is an element of luck in their position.
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