Gippsland needs a plan out of pandemic

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien says the State Government needs to outline a plan out of lockdowns and restrictions for Gippsland.

Mr O’Brien said the end of lockdown last week had brought little relief, with hospitality businesses still cruelled by onerous patron caps and most school children still forced into remote learning.

“With vaccination numbers rapidly rising and Gippslanders doing their bit to get us towards 70-80 per cent fully vaccinated, the Government needs to give Gippslanders hope.

“We need to see clarity on return to school for the rest of our students,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is astounding that the Premier last week announced the return of Foundation to Year 2 and Year 12 but made no reference to when the rest of our students can return.

“They must be back at school for term four and the Government needs to outline how it will deliver this. The Nationals and Liberals have a plan including priority vaccinations for teachers and rapid testing to get our schools back on track.

“For our hospitality sector the Government needs to outline how it will open up from the ridiculous cap of 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.

“I know of pubs in my electorate that can accommodate 400 people and they are restricted to 7.5% of that.  They have the space available to safely open to many more customers under the previous density limits.

“The Government needs to realise that its current restrictions are not viable for business and don’t make any sense from an epidemiological perspective.

“We have no or few cases in Gippsland at the moment and while there is always a risk, the damage being caused by further lockdowns and restrictions far outweighs that risk.

“We need the Government to come up with a plan to get us back to normal and to stick to the National Cabinet Plan whereby statewide lockdowns become a thing of the past once we hit 80 per cent.”

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