Daniel Andrews launched a scathing attack on Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, claiming he is “not a leader, he’s just a Liberal” who enjoys “playing politics every day.” “The Victorians have had enough,” said the premier.
Frydenberg did a series of interviews Monday morning in which he said the slow easing of restrictions in Victoria showed the state government had an “insensitive indifference” to small business and that people had to “Be allowed to return to work”.
“There has been a ruthless indifference in Victoria on the part of the government to the loss of jobs and the plight of small businesses,” Frydenberg said in a video posted to Twitter. “The bloody spirit is unforgivable. “
Asked about the comments during his daily press conference, Andrews replied, “It’s all about politics with this guy, isn’t it?
“That’s all he does. He’s not a leader, he’s just a Liberal. All he does is play politics every day, and I don’t think that’s fair, and I think the Victorians have had enough. The Victorians wanted their families to be protected, they wanted their health issues taken care of so that we could open up. All he does is play politics in the midst of a global pandemic. “
The state recorded four new cases of the virus and one death within 24 hours as of Monday.
On Sunday Andrews announced that from Monday some social restrictions in Victoria would be relaxed, while hairdressers, dog grooming businesses and property inspections would be allowed to reopen. Retail, hospitality, and beauty and personal services would return from November 2 if the number of cases supported it, he said, with certain limits, such as the number of people allowed in the interior of bars and restaurants.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said it was “an inexplicable and unacceptable delay for Victorians and small businesses that last a day, not a week.”
“Taking a wait-and-see approach to easing restrictions is not a solution for people facing a gloomy Christmas and businesses trying to get back on track,” she said.
“There is no valid reason to maintain restrictions on business, especially with the number of cases clearly on a downward trajectory. Just being allowed to have your hair cut or go out a bit longer when you have no job, no money, and your business has failed is just not enough.
Andrews said: “[Business groups] are there to defend the interests of their members and we work closely with them. Sometimes they’ll be happy with the ads and other times they want more. “
In New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian announced further easing of restrictions as of Friday, when restaurants will be able to accept group bookings of up to 30 people, while 30 people can congregate outside.
The premier said she wanted to give hospitality enough information to plan Christmas and summer, but “I feel too relaxed – people are getting back to normal life.”
“Please know that until the pandemic is over, none of us can lead normal lives. But what we can do is make sure that we keep Covid safe and that, within the rules, we have as good a time, as free time as possible. “
NSW Health on Monday evening called on residents of southeast Sydney to get tested if they develop symptoms after the department was alerted to a positive case in the area on October 15.
The person with Covid visited the Kingsford and Ramsgate areas, including cafes, while potentially contagious in the first two weeks of October. No specific location has been identified by the health department and investigations are underway into the source of the infection.
The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday evening that the 55 travelers recently arrived in Victoria from New Zealand had been interviewed.
“Travelers, some in family groups and most staying in private homes, have been provided with information on Covid-19 and Victoria’s current health guidelines,” the department said in a statement.
Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan confirmed on Sunday that 23 New Zealanders who entered the state via NSW without exemptions were now in quarantine.
Asked on Monday how travelers arrived in Victoria when the state was not part of the Trans-Tasman bubble, Andrews said it seemed the bubble applied to all parts of the country, “not only to those who said yes ”.
“Either way, that’s where it’s happening, we can’t change that.”
He said health officials were trying to track down 10 other travelers from New Zealand who had entered the state in recent days.
The travel advice had also been updated to make it clear that Victoria’s borders were open to people from New Zealand if travelers met all immigration and biosecurity requirements, Andrews said.
“We just need to know who’s coming and when, and we need to talk to them and make sure they know all the rules.”
Australian Border Forces Commissioner Michael Outram defended the travel bubble arrangements during a Senate forecast hearing on Monday, saying he was unaware of any concerns raised during meetings with officials of the State of Victoria.
“Once a passenger leaves the international terminal, once they leave the customs-controlled area behind the baggage hall, they cease to be an international passenger or traveler – they have entered. Australia, ”he told a Senate committee.
Outram confirmed that while Victoria chose not to join the travel bubble with New Zealand, people clearing international checks on arrival are free to move around the country, subject to travel restrictions imposed by the state.
“The travel bubble stops at the international terminal at Sydney Airport. It does not extend across the road to the domestic terminal. It does not extend on Federal Highway to the Victorian border. We are the Australian Border Force, we are responsible for the international border. “
Outram said there was a meeting last Friday at 2 p.m. at Melbourne Airport, which was called by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services and attended by a junior officer from the ABF. “Clearly, at the operational level, at least, the Victorian service recognized what was going on. No objections were raised.