Flat White

Hello lockdown, my old friend

25 May 2021

1:04 PM

25 May 2021

1:04 PM

As of 6.00 pm this evening groups of five people in Greater Melbourne must wear masks outdoors while within 30 metres of public gatherings. Or something like that. It doesn’t really matter.

It doesn’t really matter because, at the same time the Victorian state government is still working through how the latest coronavirus restrictions in will impact major events such as football.

Instead, Acting Premier James Merlino has said this morning that the government would not make any announcements today on restrictions for cultural and sporting events but, rather, a health panel will decide in the coming days what restrictions and crowd limits will be needed.

By now you will probably have gathered that the Victorian government doesn’t actually have a clue what’s going on, let alone how to manage it.

Its track and trace measures still aren’t working. Its QR code coverage and requirements are inconsistent. All it can do is hit the big red lockdown button.

Are we looking at a third wave? The measures announced this morning have the qualification “until at least June 4”, so the option is clearly there for their extension. The geography and culture of the area hit — the car-dependent city fringes with large populations from a non-English speaking background — compound the problem too.

But discussing demographics distract from the key issue. Yet again, the Andrews Government has failed. Despite all the “learnings” — to use a good public service word — it should have taken on board from last year’s catastrophe (let alone the short, sharp lockdown in February), the Andrews Government has failed yet again.

It has one crude weapon: lockdown. The bluntness of this weapon shows the absolute lack of sophistication of the government and its absolute inability to meet the coronavirus challenge in the way the New South Wales government has been able.

Lockdown = failure.

The Andrews Government has failed yet again and, yet again, it is ordinary Victorians who will pay the price.


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