Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today called on Premier Daniel Andrews to immediately clarify comments made at the daily COVID-19 update today that metropolitan zone residents may remain locked inside the current boundary, even once on the same Step as regional Victoria.
Premier Andrews today suggested that even though metropolitan Melbourne may move to Step 3 on October 19, the ‘ring of steel’ may remain to stop Metropolitan residents from moving outside the current boundary.
That will lock Cardinian communities in again with Metropolitan Melbourne, creating further problems for rural towns that border Baw Baw Shire.
Mr Blackwood said local communities on the border of metropolitan and regional zones were already dealing with complex travel and living issues, and a divided Step 3 roadmap would only create more confusion.
‘Daniel Andrews comments today will create massive confusion for regional and metropolitan Victorians, particularly those living on each side of the restriction boundary,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Victorians were told we needed two roadmaps, one for the greater Metropolitan Region and one for Regional. Those roadmaps were then due to join up under Step 3 so the whole state could move together under one set of restrictions.
‘Today the Premier has now said people may still not be able to cross between zones, even when we are on the same step.
‘That is a massive blow to communities on each side of the restriction border in Cardinia and Baw Baw.
‘Communities on this border are interconnected. Families living in Cardinia send their kids to school in Baw Baw. Kids in Baw Baw play sport at Cardinia sporting clubs. People cross the border to work in nearby towns and for essential goods or services.
‘The Premier has to immediately clarify these comments he has made about an ongoing border and what the plan is for it.
‘Clearly work has been done regarding it remaining, he needs to start explaining what the plan is going forward and what impact that will have for residents who have to live with this every day.
‘If it is the case the border will remain even with both zones on step 3, regional Victoria should move to the final step today.
‘There is no reason to delay that step occurring if travel between each region is going to remain.
‘We have been told again and again regional Victoria can’t move forward because it was a requirement that metropolitan Melbourne was on the same settings to do so.
‘If that is no longer the case, keeping businesses here on Step 3 where there are little to no cases makes no sense with a daily regional case average of just 0.3,’ said Mr Blackwood.
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
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