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Return to work critical for Gippsland

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to allow country communities to return to work where the risk of coronavirus is minimal.

Mr O’Brien said The Nationals and Liberals are calling on the Government to explain why people living in regional and rural Victoria are being prevented from going back to work where there are no active cases of COVID-19.

“I have been hearing from workers and businesses who are frustrated that the Premier says people must continue to work from home because of the risk of virus transmission on public transport and in high-rise buildings.

“Clearly neither of these are particularly relevant for our Gippsland towns and small communities and there should be an exemption for country people.

“I’ve been contact by a number of businesses who are frustrated that the efficiency of their operations has been impacted by the work-from-home rules.

“Clearly there was a period where this was necessary and people accepted that and adapted as best they could. However, with no active cases in Gippsland now for several weeks and limited risk of transmission through public transport or in large office buildings it’s simply unfair for country people.”

Mr O’Brien said there was great frustration at the double standard the Government has been applying lately.

“We saw the Premier effectively turn a blind eye to 10,000 people protesting in Melbourne with just three of the organisers fined, and yet country businesses continue to face the threat of a fine if their staff are not working from home.

“Likewise, Victoria Police revealed this week that just one anti-logging protestor was fined for protesting on a coupe during the stay-at-home direction period in April and May, despite the fact there were dozens of individual protestors.

“It seems under Daniel Andrews there are two sets of rules and that is impacting on Gippsland businesses.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien with Catherine Zenner from Elite Bookkeeping in Sale, who is frustrated at the continued work-from-home directive.

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