‘You will never know’ if Victoria’s lockdowns were ‘truly necessary’: Cormann
Sky News Australia
Published at : 18 Oct 2020
Keeping Victorians locked down would be “entirely unreasonable” given Victoria’s plummeting daily case count and Friday’s figure of two infections and zero deaths, outgoing Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says.
“There should be an effort now to ease restrictions into something that’s proportionate to the level of threat,” he told Sky News.
“The opportunity is there now to have something much more sensible in place moving forward.”
The new figures push the 14-day average case count for metropolitan Melbourne to 8.7 while regional Victoria remains steady at 0.6.
Mr Cormann said he sympathised with Victorians cooped up in the state.
“I feel for our fellow Australians in Victoria who’ve had to live with these sorts of restrictions for a very long time,” he said.
“That clearly has had very devastating consequences on the Victorian economy, and it’s had very negative, flow-on consequences, on the Australian economy.”
When asked if the extreme lockdowns of Victoria were necessary, Mr Cormann said Australia would never know.
“You will never know the counterfactual, you will never know whether the full extent of what’s been imposed was truly necessary, but we are where we are.”
Mr Cormann said Australia’s job numbers would have continued to grow in the last month if it wasn’t for the “drag” from Victoria.
“Victoria is clearly continuing to drag the national economy down and clearly we would want to see steps taken to re-open and remove restrictions on the Victorian economy as soon as possible,” he said.
Premier Daniel Andrews is due to announce the next step on the roadmap to re-opening on Sunday.
The announcement could include an expansion of the five-kilometre travel limit, increased outdoor gatherings and the introduction of household bubbles.