Another major thread with Victoria’s lockdown this morning is the stoush between the state and federal governments over the question of financial support.
The Morrison government has rebuffed a plea from Victoria to help provide financial assistance for workers and small businesses affected by the state’s seven-day lockdown. Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino has described the knockback as “disgraceful”. The feds, meanwhile, have called on Victoria to take full responsibility.
Chris Lucas, the chief executive behind well-known restaurants such as Chin Chin, was scathing of the Victorian government this morning.
“We’re now facing our fourth lockdown and it’s very, very devastating,” he told the Today show. “The mental harm and the economic consequences to this state are enormous.
“In fact, we’ve got to ask ourselves: why is this happening again and again? Why is it that the state government constantly reaches out for the lockdown mechanism when states like NSW are able to quarantine properly, are able to cordon off small suburbs or areas of the city?”
Mr Lucas urged the state government not to attack its federal counterpart and instead focus on “the real issues”.
“Their behaviour yesterday, it’s almost childish,” he said. “This government seems to be addicted to deflecting the blame.”
Victorian Treasury costings forecast a seven-day lockdown will cost businesses $700 million. Some business estimates put that cost at $1 billion.