Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (10:16): On Monday afternoon Victorians breathed a collective sigh of relief—finally, light at the end of the tunnel.
But are the long weeks and months finally at an end? I certainly hope so.
Let us hope those promises of getting people back to their jobs, of reuniting families, of restoring opportunities to meet our mates and socialise and of removing the barriers between regional and metropolitan Victoria, restoring freedom of movement around the state, and soon around the country, are met.
But frankly, I am pessimistic. Yes, coronavirus is a nasty enemy. Individually and collectively we need to take all necessary steps and all necessary precautions, but it can be managed, as every other state in the nation has proved.
Why have three-quarters of Australia’s cases occurred in Victoria?
Why have 90 per cent of deaths occurred in Victoria?
We know the reasons. A calamitous failure of the hotel quarantine system and a paper-and-pencil contact-tracing system—both failings which can be laid directly at the door of the government. That government and those people remain in power.
Given the manifest incompetence of the government, how can we have any faith that this will not happen again?
The impact of those lost months—individually, economically, socially, physically and most of all on people’s mental health—is immense and unprecedented. The consequences will be with us for years.
We cannot afford to let it happen again.