Daniel Andrews has been accused of ‘decimating’ Victoria after it emerged an extra 30,000 residents lost their jobs due to the state’s second coronavirus lockdown.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday described the premier’s handling of the crisis as ‘the biggest public policy failure by a state government in living memory’.
Victorian Opposition MPs told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Andrews has ‘trashed’ the state and should resign unless he comes up with a plan that can save livelihoods and restore hope.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today slammed Daniel Andrews’ handling of the virus. Pictured: A resident wearing a mask in Melbourne
Case numbers in Victoria have been coming down in recent weeks. Pictured: Victorian Police speak a man in Dandenong, Melbourne
Daniel Andrews (pictured today) has been accused of ‘decimating’ Victoria after it emerged an extra 30,000 residents lost their jobs due to the state’s second coronavirus lockdown
Case numbers in Victoria have been coming down in recent weeks, with only 73 recorded on Monday.
But Mr Andrews still refused to talk about how to end lockdown and said he will keep Victorians in the dark for at least another week, with no plan revealed until Sunday.
‘If I could provide a 100 per cent certain road map today, then I would. But that would not be responsible, frankly, and that is not the way that I operate,’ he said.
Mr Andrews said that even after he comes up with a plan, it may not be implemented.
‘It cannot be 100 per cent certain, because everything must be based on case numbers,’ he said, adding that stage four lockdown might continue beyond September 13 when it is due to end.
Victorian Liberal MP James Newbury said Mr Andrews had ruined the state and should resign if he does not offer a good enough plan out of lockdown.
‘Daniel Andrews has trashed the great state of Victoria,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He let the pandemic out, crushed private enterprise and destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Our state has been decimated.
Mr Andrews said that even after he comes up with a plan to end lockdown, it may not be implemented. Pictured: A property for lease
Melbourne residents are forced to wear masks when leaving home. Pictured: One resident pictured walking her dog on Saturday
Devastation: With boarded-up shops, abandoned businesses and restaurant chairs left to rot on the street, Melbourne resembles disaster zone
‘Yet the Premier has refused to soften current restrictions and instead delivers daily messages of pessimism.’
Mr Newbury added: ‘Is there any wonder that mental health issues have crashed over the community like a tidal wave?
‘Businesses need certainty, people need to provide for their families, and the community needs a pathway of hope.
‘If Daniel Andrews cannot offer Victorians a “Back to Life” plan of hope he should resign.’
Treasury data seen by Daily Mail Australia on Sunday night showed that 27,600 Victorians have been forced onto unemployment benefits since the second lockdown in July.
More than half of these people lost their jobs in August, during stage-four restrictions.
The effective unemployment rate in the state was 10.5 per cent in July, compared to 8.5 per cent on New South Wales.
Mr Frydenberg said: ‘Victorians want to hear a definitive plan from Daniel Andrews about the lifting of stage 4 restrictions.
‘What has transpired in Victoria has been a like a slow-motion car crash.’
He said there had been a ‘litany of failures’ regarding hotel quarantine and the state’s testing and tracing regime which became overwhelmed.
Victoria’s Police Association on Monday called for state of emergency powers to be extended. Pictured: people walking through Southbank on Saturday
Treasury figures released by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s office show Victoria’s unemployment level shooting above the rest of Australia due to coronavirus lockdowns
Victoria has recorded its deadliest day with 41 deaths and 73 new cases of coronavirus reported on Monday. Pictured: residents wearing face masks go for a walk in Melbourne on Saturday
VICTORIA BY THE NUMBERS
* JobKeeper – about 280,000 entities have received $12.25 billion in payments for 975,000 Victorians.
* Treasury estimates 60 per cent of Australia’s 2.24 million December quarter JobKeeper recipients will be in Victoria
* In the March quarter, about 60 per cent of 1.75 million JobKeeper recipients will be from Victoria
• CashFlow Boost – More than 200,000 entities have received about $6 billion in credits
• JobSeeker – More than 400,000 recipients
• Coronavirus supplement ($550) – Around 600,000 recipients
Source: Treasury analysis released by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s office
Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith added: ‘This is the greatest public administration failure in Australian history.’
Treasury modelling showed that household spending in Victoria is down more than 30 per cent through the year while the rest of Australia is only down around three per cent.
The accommodation and hospitality sector has borne the brunt of the restrictions with the growth in spending in dining and takeaway down more than 60 per cent and in the accommodation sector more than 80 per cent.
Treasury estimates 60 per cent of the 2.24 million people receiving JobKeeper by the end of the year will be in Victoria.
‘Restrictions imposed by the Victorian government have had a devastating impact on the economy,’ Mr Frydenberg said on Monday.
‘As we have seen in other states, if you can successfully suppress the virus, jobs will return.’
Labor accused the treasurer of ‘shifting blame’ by attacking Daniel Andrews.
ALP President Wayne Swan said: ‘Frydenberg’s recession blame shifting to Victoria is a another smokescreen to camouflage his failure to implement medium term stimulus to drag the economy out of deep recession.’
Victoria on Monday recorded 41 deaths including eight overnight and 33 over the past weeks that had not been reported by care homes until today.
Melbourne’s stage four restrictions are due to end in two weeks – but experts predict they will continue.
‘It’s hard to see that happening,’ Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth told Nine on Monday.
‘I think the numbers need to be a lot less than they are now.’
Monday’s figures bring the state’s toll from the virus to 565 and the national total to 652