Flat White

Does Daniel Andrews really have a plan to exit his ‘vaccination economy’?

28 September 2021

4:00 AM

28 September 2021

4:00 AM

Does Victoria actually have a virus roadmap? When you compare Daniel Andrews’ remarks with Gladys Berejiklian’s, a stark divide emerges.

Yesterday, the New South Wales premier presented a comprehensive guide to the liberties double-jabbed residents of her state will enjoy once her state reaches an 80 per cent vaccination rate and freedoms that will apply to the vaxxed and unvaxxed alike from December 1.

In contrast, Andrews said an announcement about what restrictions will be eased once his state reaches 90 per cent vaccinated was not imminent.

Instead, he boldly stated that Victoria would wait and see.

“Over these next few weeks, we’re going to be able to watch very closely and see what happens in NSW as they open up,” he told the media.

“What does it mean for the health system, what does it mean for their nurses, for their doctors, what does it mean for case numbers – all of those things.”

NSW has a Freedom Day. Andrews might have dropped his talk of rings of steel, but is hiding behind a wall of waffle.

The Premier said state authorities had not determined how long Victoria’s ridiculously named “vaccination economy” — next to no functioning economy — will remain in place.

Despite all his announcements of just the Sunday before last, the Premier was blunt.

“We have made no decision on how long the vaccinated economy will operate for,” he said.

All that on a day when the economic consequences of staying under the doona were clearly spelt out by Qantas boss Alan Joyce with his announcement London-Perth flights will stop and only skeleton services will operate across the Nullabor while Western Australia remains in Hermit Kingdom mode.

Andrews must realise that a “vaccine economy” is one of the most foolish and risky concepts he should be talking about.

It’s obviously an effort to link greater activity and liberty with the vaccination rate, but completely ignores the economic havoc that is being wreaked under lockdown.

The Victorian Premier appears to be taking an almighty gamble that economic activity will have picked up by the time he faces the voters in November next year.

What he and his advisers from the public sector and academia on their fortnightly paid, taxpayer-funded salaries don’t appear to realise is that once a small business goes under, it’s gone. Once its owner goes bankrupt, they’re bankrupt for three years and one day.

Perhaps even more damaging is the gamble Andrews isn’t taking.

Berejeklian has the confidence that even with the Delta strain NSW can manage Covid once a certain vaccination point is reached the same way it successfully managed Covid before, so she’s prepared to gamble on a Freedom Day.

After the hotel quarantine disaster, the more than 800 deaths last year and the mismanagement that led to last week’s days of rage Andrews is tacitly admitting that all the anti-virus measures plus the state health system he once presided over as its minister are not fit for purpose by not opening up.

He’s gambling with other peoples jobs rather than risk his own because he knows Covid control in his state has failed, despite all the heavy-handedness.

There’s no real virus roadmap in Victoria. Andrews knows he needs to sound as if there is one, but really there’s only spin. Spin and sniffing the breeze.

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