The federal treasurer has come out swinging at Daniel Andrews over the cautious pace of easing of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria.
Josh Frydenberg is furious the Victorian premier has not gone further in reopening the state, given the low number of new infections.
He accused Mr Andrews of making it up as he goes and demonstrating a callous indifference towards small business owners.
‘The bloody-mindedness is unforgivable,’ Mr Frydenberg said on Monday.
‘There’s been a callous indifference in Victoria from the government to the loss of jobs and to the plight of small business.’
Josh Frydenberg accused Daniel Andrews (pictured) of making it up as he goes and demonstrating a callous indifference towards small business owners
Mr Frydenberg described the situation as ‘tragic’ and warned that 1,000 jobs would be lost each and every day the state remained in lockdown.
‘Now, that is unacceptable given that there has been the success and the progress in bringing down the number of daily cases,’ he told Today.
From Monday, Melburnians will be able to get a haircut, see an allied health professional, renovate their properties and wash their cars.
But retail and hospitality businesses must wait until November 1 to reopen.
‘It’s fine to lift the travel restrictions to 25 kilometres but if the businesses aren’t open people haven’t got anywhere to go,’ Mr Frydenberg added.
‘Why isn’t Victoria following the course set by NSW who have set the gold standard with respect to contact testing and tracing and with respect to getting about allowing people to go back to work.’
The premier has grown increasingly frustrated with federal ministers demanding a faster reopening, reminding them they are not medical experts and do not have all the information available.
Business groups have also criticised the ‘inexplicable and unacceptable’ timeline for lifting restrictions in Victoria.
‘There is no sound reason to continue the restrictions, especially with case numbers clearly on a downward trajectory,’ Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
From Monday, Melburnians will be able to get a haircut, see an allied health professional, renovate their properties and wash their cars. Pictured: Three girls in St Kilda on October 18
Victoria recorded just two new coronavirus cases on Sunday after yet another day of single-digit infections.
Mr Andrews has indicated further restrictions could be lifted earlier than planned if case numbers remain low.
But Tim Piper from the Australian Industry Group said Victorians expect more decisive action from the premier.
‘There is still no long-term coherent plan to rebuild a shattered Victorian economy,’ he said.
There is also a growing political row over travel arrangements with New Zealand.
Victoria and West Australia are not part of the deal and both premiers have said they were blindsided when Kiwis arrived in their states.
The federal government argues New Zealanders are well within their rights to travel to other parts of the country after flying into Sydney or Darwin.
VICTORIA’S PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN
The state government has mapped a new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that depends on stamping out COVID-19 cases in the community which have an unknown source.
STEP ONE: From 11:59pm Sunday
* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped
* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km
* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10
* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume
* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen
* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers
* Hairdressers can reopen
* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff
STEP TWO: From 11:59pm on November 1:
* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day
* All retail shops can open
* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)
* Beauty and personal care services open
* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted
* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals
* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people
MAJOR RESTRICTIONS REMAIN:
* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home
* Work from home if possible
* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan
Source: Daily Mail Australia | News Colony