A former Victorian Premier has slammed Dan Andrews for his ‘appalling’ management of the state’s lockdown which he says has led to the violent riots that have swept through the city.
Jeff Kennett spoke on Wednesday night after previously referring to the current premier and his government as a ‘cancer’ on Victoria.
Mr Kennett said the continual lockdowns were destroying the livelihoods of hard working Australians and slammed Mr Andrews’ handling of the protests.
‘The way they’ve managed it has been appalling,’ he told A Current Affair.
‘This doesn’t only effect those in high-rise buildings, it effects tradies out on the street. Plumbers, electricians, small builders who are doing family homes.
‘It’s just been an across the board lockdown without any management.’
His comments come as Melbourne will wake up to a new world record of being the city with the most days locked down, having been under stay-at-home-orders for 235 days since the pandemic began – ahead of Buenos Aires, Dublin and London.
Mr Kennett said the continual lockdowns were destroying the livelihoods of hard working Australians and slammed Mr Andrews’ handling of the protests (pictured on Wednesday)
Melbourne will wake up to a new world record of city with the most days locked down, having been under stay-at-home-orders for 235 days – ahead of Buenos Aires, Dublin and London (pictured, protesters with signs opposing the extended lockdown)
Mr Kennett, who was premier between 1992 and 1999, said the state has been ‘going backwards for two years’ under Mr Andrews.
‘It’s not the premier’s fault we have the virus, it’s certainly his and his government’s fault for the way they’ve managed this crisis and led us to where we are today,’ the former Hawthorn Football Club president said.
The 73-year-old said the government should be looking for broader advice on how to handle the pandemic, rather than solely focusing on health impacts.
‘You can’t exist on medical advice alone. Talk to single parents who are home schooling month after month. Children with no experience of the discipline of going to school, the disadvantage to their education and social education,’ he said.
‘I understand we need medical advice but you’ve also got to take into consideration the impact on children and businesses and the economy as a whole.’
Mr Kennett, who has been publicly critical of Mr Andrews throughout his tenure as premier, called for an overhaul in the government’s planning that could see future riots avoided.
The former premier also condemned some of the protesters, saying there was a difference between demonstrating and violence.
Mr Kennett, who was premier between 1992 and 1999, said Victoria has been ‘going backwards for two years’ under Mr Andrews
Melbourne will claim the unwanted record of city locked down longest in the world as it enters its 235th day of heavy restrictions on Thursday
Melbourne overtakes Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires (pictured during its own protests about its President on Tuesday) as the city with the longest time spent lockdown since the pandemic started
Meanwhile, Melbourne will claim the unwanted record of city locked down longest in the world as it enters its 235th day of heavy restrictions since the pandemic began on Thursday.
Melbourne jumps ahead of Argentinian capital Buenos Aires for the record, slightly ahead of Dublin in Ireland and England’s London as the cities with the most days spent at home.
‘We’ve been in lockdown this year more than we’ve been out,’ Peta Credlin said on Wednesday.
‘Kids basically haven’t been at school for two years. Tomorrow we are the world’s most locked-down city. That’s a terrible title for the once ‘world’s most livable city’ to wear.’
Melbourne suffered through a 112-day lockdown last year and has endured six in total to claim the record.
Daniel Andrews (pictured on Wednesday) copped fierce criticism from former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett for his handling of the crisis
Many of the protesters are also calling for an end to lockdowns (pictured, a man speaking to police on Wednesday)
Police arrested more 215 people at Wednesday’s protest. Tap handles, golf balls and batteries were thrown at police, according to Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther.
Two police sustained head injuries after being pelted with bottles. They estimate between 300 and 400 people attended the protests.
The riots hit a new low on Wednesday after defiling and desecrating the sacred Shrine of Remembrance war memorial.
The group of tradies, anti-vaxxers and violent thugs stood on the steps of the memorial chanting ‘lest we forget’ and believing police wouldn’t engage with them while standing on the hallowed military ground.
Instead police fired rubber bullets and pepper balls and threw stinger grenades as they were pelted by rocks, with scenes turning violent and ugly again.
Protests are expected throughout the rest of the week.
The scene turned exceedingly ugly as police and crowds clashed outside the Shrine of Remembrance on Wednesday
MELBOURNE PROTESTERS’ LIST OF DEMANDS
1. Emergency state powers to be removed immediately
2. Lockdowns to end immediately
3. Mask mandate to end immediately
4. Vaccine mandates to end immediately
5. Vaccine passport to be removed
6. Immediate resignation of Premier Daniel Andrews
7. Immediate resignation of Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton
8. Immediate resignation of Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton
9. Royal commission into government’s response to pandemic
10. Charges laid against officers for ‘assaulting peaceful protesters’
11. All construction sites to resume immediately.
12. Mass distribution of invermectin, vitamins C, D, and zinc