Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (13:35): The way this government has handled the latest COVID outbreak is nothing short of a disgrace.
The impact on our communities has been immense. The measures used to fight the virus have been totally out of proportion with the risk.
When there is uncertainty, when there is a legitimate risk, a strong response is absolutely justified, but that is not the case in this lockdown.
You only need to look over the border to New South Wales to see how they handled the most recent outbreak. They got on top of it quickly, they did it without an impact on jobs and they did it with minimal impact on people’s lives.
One of the many casualties as a result of the government’s intemperate response has been the Mornington Winter Music Festival.
Winter on the Mornington Peninsula is not great for business at the best of times, but throw in a lockdown and it becomes damn hard.
That is why an event like the winter music festival is so important. It brings 30 000 visitors to the town, it boosts our retail businesses and it boosts our restaurants. In fact some businesses report being 300 per cent up on their regular weekend sales.
People do not only go to shows. They spend money on drinks. They spend money on food. They spend money when they are shopping in the town.
In short the winter music festival is crucial for the local economy, but thanks to the government’s ludicrous decision to lock down the whole of Greater Melbourne the festival has been postponed. The benefits it would have brought to the town have been lost.
Happy midwinter, Mornington!