'I am angry': Victoria slams government over lockdown response

·3-min read

Senior members of the Victorian state government have unloaded on the prime minister, accusing him of shirking responsibility and doing nothing to help Victorian businesses plunged back into lockdown. 

State treasurer Tim Pallas said he is “angry and disappointed” with the federal government during a scathing speech on Sunday.

After announcing a state support package of $250 million for small and medium-sized businesses, Mr Pallas slammed the Commonwealth for “forgetting about Victorians, in particular Victorian workers”.

"It is about time that the Commonwealth stop with the words, stop with the empty gestures, the rallying speeches, with nothing behind them,” he said.

“This idea that we are working hand in glove, when they have never put their hand in their pocket, is nothing short of a disgrace."

Melburnians seen walking around in masks. Right is Scott Morrison.
Victoria officials have hit out at the Commonwealth for declining to financially help businesses during the snap Covid lockdown.

Mr Pallas said the economic cost for the current 7-day, snap Covid lockdown is estimated to be more than $700 million.

Victoria’s deputy premier James Merlino also did not mince his words when addressing the lack of financial help from the federal government.

“…they want to work hand in glove with the Victorian government in supporting Victorians yet when we most need their support, the answer from the prime minister and the treasurer is 'no',” he said.

"For the prime minister and for the federal treasurer to say 'no' is a disgrace and it should make every Victorian angry."

The latest lockdown has intensified criticism of the Commonwealth's slow vaccine rollout and the Morrison government's refusal to build new purpose-built quarantine facilities

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‘Profound’ package to help businesses

Mr Pallas called the $250 million package “quite profound” and said it will help some 76,000 businesses, including sole traders.

“If the business is closed and they have not been able to provide an online service, they will be eligible for these entitlements,” he said.

Mr Pallas said the state government “was proud of the effort that Victorians are making during this very difficult time.”

Arcare Maidstone, where a staffer has tested positive for Covid. Source: GoogleMaps
An Arcare Maidstone aged care staffer has tested positive for Covid. Source: GoogleMaps

Aged care home in lockdown 

The fiery comments came just moments after it was revealed an aged care home in Melbourne's west is in lockdown after a staffer tested positive and worked while infectious.

The staffer, who has no known contact link, wore a mask when they last worked on May 26 and May 27 but did not have any symptoms until the next day and later tested positive.

Arcare Maidstone said in a statement that no other infections have been found and all residents will now self-isolate in their suites.

State health authorities called the mystery case "extremely" concerning. 

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