'Give Victorians Back Their Freedom This Sunday': Australian Treasurer

'Give Victorians Back Their Freedom This Sunday': Australian Treasurer
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg during a press conference in the Mural Hall at Parliament House on June 11, 2020 in Canberra, Australia (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Australian federal government ministers have continued to call on Premier Daniel Andrews to end the excessive lockdowns in the state of Victoria. Meanwhile, Andrews says.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg complimented South Australia's handling of the CCP virus, saying it was an incredible achievement to see people going about their daily lives as normal, including dining at restaurants.
"To go to a restaurant last night and to see the tables full, that's commerce, and that’s due to the work of [Premier] Steven Marshall and his team because they have been able to successfully suppress the virus," Frydenberg said while attending the opening of the Adelaide Holocaust Museum.

Frydenberg, whose home state is Victoria, called for Premier Daniel Andrews to "give Victorians back their freedom this Sunday."

"Look what has been achieved here in South Australia. Look what Gladys Berejiklian has achieved in New South Wales. Victorians need their freedom back, and businesses need to reopen again, " the treasurer said.

Frydenberg echoed fellow Victorian and Health Minister Greg Hunt, who on Tuesday urged Andrews to use the Commonwealth definition of a hotspot and view what New South Wales had done as a comparable standard.

"New South Wales had 24 days with a rolling average of above 10 cases, and they were able to manage that with significantly lower restrictions," Hunt told 5aa radio on Tuesday.

Hunt called on the Victorian government to model the lifting of its restrictions on New South Wales.

"It's not a free for all, it’s careful, staged, COVID safe," said Hunt. "It’s giving people hope, it's giving people freedom, and above all else, it's giving them a pathway to all of the things which will help them reduce the mental health impacts that are devastating."

Premier Daniel Andrews signalled on Friday that the government would announce "significant steps" towards lifting restrictions on Sunday, but warned: "It will not be everything that everyone wants. Because it's not safe to take all of those steps that were outlined in stage three."

He also said that he couldn't say what those steps would be because the government hadn't made those decisions yet.

"On Sunday, I very much look forward to giving people a sense of what the coming weeks look like and it is fair to say that if these numbers continue then we are very well placed to be broadly in alignment with our foreshadowed stage three," Andrews said.

Andrews said the government's lockdown response to the CCP virus will "test our resolve" every single day "until we get a vaccine."

He also said that on Sunday he will have more to say about how the government will continue to update Victorians on what rules will be in place in the coming weeks and how Victorians will need to behave—including which of their behaviours pose the greatest risk to driving further infection.

Once the CCP virus is defeated, the premier said the government would turn to repair the economy from the impact of its response to the virus.

"Then we can turn, having dealt with a health challenge, we can turn in an unprecedented way to the economic repair," he said.

Andrews has faced increased criticism for utilising strict lockdown measures similar to those used by the Chinese regime in Wuhan, the origin of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian based reporter who focuses on national politics and the geopolitical environment in the Asia-pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.