Premiers Prefer To Stay Under the Doona
At last Friday’s National Cabinet meeting Scott Morrison put forward a perfectly reasonable plan to re-open the national economy based on isolating hot spots but the premiers preferred to stay under the doona. They would rather hide behind their closed borders and live off Commonwealth government stimulus than get people back to work.
The Queensland premier, Anastacia Palaczszuk, is the outstanding hypocrite. She says that her test for opening the Queensland border is 28 days without community transmission but Canberra has never had community transmission but has been declared a virus hot spot by the Queensland chief health officer. In the meantime, Queensland’s second-biggest industry, tourism, is surviving on Jobkeeper.
Unbelievably, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, says that if the border between WA and South Australia is open, people will die and the mining industry will be decimated.
On Sunday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the roadmap out of the state's harsh coronavirus restrictions, is "the only option to make sure that 2020 is as normal as possible".
The premier revealed that Melbourne's stage four lockdown will extend for at least another two weeks ahead of a staged easing of the nation's harshest restrictions.
Asked if Victorians could be sure the roadmap was different to the current six-week lockdown Melburnians are living under, Mr Andrews said the plan had come after extensive public health modelling.
"This is the product of some of the most intensive modelling that has ever been conducted in our state," he told 9 News' Alicia Loxley.
"If we open up too much too soon, we won't be open for long.
"I understand those businesses... who are very disappointed today. I wish I could give them better news. I wish we could open up more, do it faster.
"But I don't think any business necessarily benefits from being open just a few weeks, to then be closed for a few months.
"We have to strike this balance. It's incredibly difficult but it's the only option to make sure that 2021 is as normal as possible."
On Sunday morning the CEO of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott, told David Speers that she found it anomalous that businesses that were not locked down and were COVID free during the first restrictions are being locked down under the current stage four restrictions. She also said that her preference was for states to open their borders and confine their lockdowns to designated hot spots.
At the moment the states have committed to the idea of hot spots in principle only. They are quibbling about the definition of hot spots developed by the medical experts.
On Sunday it was reported that Australia's top doctors will not change its advice on what defines a COVID-19 "hotspot" unless internationally-accepted medical evidence suggests they need to.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd today outlined the new hotspot triggers unveiled by the Federal Government on Friday and said that move came after months of continually-shifting positions by the nation's health authorities.
"We have modified our advice over the last six months based on new evidence," he said.
"We'll continue to look at the evidence and that will continue to inform our recommendations to the national cabinet."