Constituency Questions No 1021
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 16 February 2021


MR QUILTY — To ask the Attorney-General (for the Premier): My constituency question is for the Premier. Given that the regions are apparently only locked down to keep people in Melbourne, there is no reason why border residents should not be allowed to cross the river to attend education or work. People fleeing Melbourne are unlikely to be going to jobs or school in Albury or Moama or Mulwala. For border residents, attending school or work in New South Wales should be a reason to leave home, even if they are not considered as essential as tennis players. If they cannot go to work, can you guarantee they will be protected from dismissal by their employers for following circuit-breaker orders that you have imposed on regional Victorians?
Answered: 2 March 2021

Mr ANDREWS (Mulgrave—Premier):

The Chief Health Officer is responsible for providing public health advice to the Victorian Government to promote and protect public health and wellbeing under the  Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

Following this advice, the Victorian Government implemented state-wide circuit-breaker restrictions for five days to prevent the spread of a more virulent strain of coronavirus. The restrictions meant there were only four reasons to leave home:

• shopping for necessary goods and services

• care, caregiving or compassionate reasons

• exercise (for two hours per day)

• permitted work or education

The Victorian Government understands the impact of restrictions on regional communities, particularly border communities, and these were not made decisions lightly.

We are committed to protecting all Victorians, including those in regional communities, from coronavirus and will continue to follow the advice of public health experts in the application of restrictions.