Shepparton News

Lockdowns only ‘a last resort’


- By Darren Linton

Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh says regional Victorians will hold the premier to his promise to finally walk back the destructiv­e policy of sudden statewide lockdowns.

After 18 months of calls to dump the policy for country communitie­s where there is no COVID-19, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the intention to move to a “focused and targeted series of measures” in hotspots.

The Nationals seized on comments made later in parliament by Deputy Premier James Merlino that different settings in local government areas was not a way to control the pandemic.

Mr Walsh said the Andrews Government was sending mixed messages.

“Lockdowns should only be a last resort, but Daniel Andrews’ policy of using them — statewide — as a first response has left Victorians losing hope we’ll ever get out of this,” Mr Walsh said.

“Daniel Andrews has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point, causing untold pain and suffering along the way. He will now be held to account.”

The Liberals and Nationals have long pushed for common sense, with any lockdowns limited to hotspots to make sure communitie­s that are hundreds of kilometres away and have no cases don’t suffer unnecessar­ily.

“Other measures, like rapid testing, fixing contact tracing and filling the gaps in Victoria’s vaccinatio­n program, will give all Victorians hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr Walsh said.

 ??  ?? Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh.
Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh.

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