Daniel Andrews re-introduced a strict 9pm curfew in Melbourne just to show he is tougher than other premiers in dealing with Covid-19 outbreaks, according to Peta Credlin.
The former chief of staff to ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott slammed the Victorian Premier for bringing back the draconian restriction despite experts saying there is no evidence it will help stop the Delta variant spreading.
In her Sky News show on Monday night, Credlin called the lockdown the ‘toughest in the world’ and said Australia didn’t even have a curfew ‘in times of war’.
A person wearing a face mask crossing the street ahead of the curfew in Melbourne on Monday night
‘What’s the point of the curfew anyway given there’s nothing to do because everything’s shut, you can’t visit anyone, if you’re out and about for work you’ve got to have a permit anyway,’ she said.
‘It’s just a political tactic to show he’s tougher than any other premier.’
Even though the Prime Minister and state premiers have agreed the only way to deal with the Delta strain of Covid-19 is with tough lockdowns, Credlin said Andrews was resorting to harsh measures because he did not trust Victoria’s health system.
‘You still don’t trust you tracing system and you still don’t trust your health system to be able to cope,’ she said.
‘Even though you’re in power and you’ve had 18 months to get this right. That and you’re on a power trip.’
On Monday Premier Andrews – who has been nicknamed ‘Chairman Dan’ by opponents – announced Melbourne’s stay-at-home orders would be extended until at least September 2, with a 9pm to 5am curfew and the closure of playgrounds, basketball court and skate parks.
Daniel Andrews has re-introduced a strict 9pm curfew in Melbourne. Pictured: Runners enjoying some fresh air in Melbourne on Monday
Victorian Opposition leader Michael O’Brien slammed the curfew and also described the closing of playgrounds as ‘heartless and cruel’.
‘In 2020 the Labor Government admitted in the Supreme Court it had no evidence that curfews worked against Covid,’ he said.
‘Now Labor’s curfew is back. Making a criminal of someone putting the bins out at 9.05pm.
‘It is appalling overreach – punishing the innocent because Andrews has no plan.’
Jodie McVernon, the director of epidemiology at Melbourne’s Doherty Institute, also spoke out against Melbourne’s curfew, doubting it would help curtail the virus.
‘Personally, I’m not aware of any evidence that proves that curfews per se are particularly efficacious,’ she told ABC Radio on Monday.
‘Clearly we need the public to co-operate with these measures if they’re to be effective.’
Also under the toughened rules, exercise equipment will be closed, residents will no longer be able to remove their masks in order to drink alcohol outside, schools will be shut, constructions sites will be forced to cut down on workers and all in-person gatherings will be banned.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton insisted the tough new measures are necessary to curb the spread of the Delta variant with the state’s outbreak now at a ‘cliff edge’ as it battled ‘mystery’ cases and a worrying list of exposure sites scattered right across the city.
The Victorian government announced on Monday it would extend its lockdown until September 2 and introduce a 9pm to 5am curfew in Melbourne – despite no evidence it stops the virus spreading (pictured, a woman in locked down St Kilda on Monday)
Many have slammed the state’s curfew laws, calling measure a cruel over-reach that’s not based on science (pictured, police in Melbourne’s CBD escort an anti-lockdown protester away)
Victoria recorded 29 new cases on Tuesday.
The state’s Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said the curfew was brought in by government and was not something recommended by the police force whose resources are stretched ‘paper thin’.
‘It was contentious the first time around and I’ll be very, very clear – it wasn’t asked for by police last time around and to the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t been asked for by our members this time,’ he told 3AW radio.
‘We don’t think the curfew is necessary and our members didn’t really see great value in it (last time) to be quite honest.
‘If they turn something like that on again… it will be the police that are asked to enforce it and we are stretched paper thin.’
Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday (pictured) announced the city’s stay-at-home orders would be extended until at least September 2, curfew to come into effect across Metropolitan Melbourne as well as a range of other draconian measures
Curfews were originally introduced during Victoria’s disastrous second wave that saw Melbourne under lockdown or 111 consecutive days with more than 700 cases a day when the outbreak was at its worst.
It was brought in an effort to reduce movement and keep people in their homes for more of the day – before the government conceded it was more about police control.
The rule caused uproar after Dr Sutton denied it was based on his medical advice.
Mr Andrews eventually admitted the curfew was imposed solely because it would make enforcing the lockdown easier for police.
‘The rules were ultimately made by me,’ Mr Andrews said at the time.
‘It’s not a matter for Brett [Sutton], that’s not health advice, that’s about achieving a health outcome.
‘His advice is ‘do whatever you can to limit movement’. Police then say ‘we need rules we can enforce’.’
But Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police never asked for a curfew and he was only told a ‘couple of hours’ before it began.
‘I was never consulted,’ he said of Mr Andrews’ claim. ‘We had never asked for a curfew. It’s not a decision that I was involved in.’
Victoria’s latest Covid exposure sites on Monday
Tier 1 – Get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from exposure
Balaclava: Haymisha Bakery – August 13, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Balaclava: Coles – August 13, 12:45pm – 4:20pm
Roxburgh Park: Aldi – August 12, 2:54pm – 3:51pm
Newport: TyrePlus – August 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 from 8am to 6.30pm Newport 45 Mason Street Newport VIC 3015 06/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm Case attended venue
Tier 2 – Get tested urgently and isolate until you have a negative result
St Kilda: Rye & Dough – August 14, 10:00am – 10:30am
St Kilda: Meatsmith- August 14, 2:45pm – 3:10pm
South Morang: Male public toilets at HomeCo – August 10, 8:00am – 9:30am
South Morang: Male public toilets at HomeCo – August 11, 12:00pm – 2:00pm
St Kilda: 7 Apples Gelato – August 14, 3:05pm – 3:25pm
Roxburgh Park: Female public toilets (next to Aldi) at Roxburgh Village – August 12, 3:22pm – 3:55pm
Cheltenham: Mega Pet Warehouse – August 11, 1:20pm – 2:10pm
St Kilda: 7-Eleven St Kilda 154-158 St Kilda Road St Kilda VIC 3182 12/08/2021 7:48pm – 8:07pm
Elsternwick: Coles – August 13, 3:15pm – 3:45pm
Port Melbourne: Ootoro – August 12, 12:42pm – 1:00pm
Balaclava: Lichtenstein’s Bakehouse – August 12, 7:20pm – 7:39pm
Balaclava: Coles – August 12, 7:30pm – 7:50pm
Keysborough: Miele Clearance Centre – August 5, 10:02am – 10:47am
How will this curfew work?
A 9pm to 5am curfew takes effect from 11.59pm Monday in metropolitan Melbourne but the Premier asked people to observe it from Monday evening.
There would be Increased police presence on Melbourne streets to enforce the restrictions, the Premier said at Monday’s update.
Residents will be required to obtain a permit for authorised work allowing them to leave their homes during the curfew period.
Authorised workers will need to carry the permits while travelling to and from work, and when at work. Permits need to be certified by the person’s employer.
Permits are available from the Victorian government’s coronavirus site.
Higher education students on the Authorised Provider list will also need to carry permits.
Dr Sutton said permits would not be required for another 24 hours.
There remain only five other reasons to leave home – shopping for essentials (one person per household per day), care an caregiving, exercise, authorised work and study, and to receive a vaccine.
Shopping and exercise remain limited to within 5km of a person’s home.
Are there changes to exercise rules?
Playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and exercise equipment will be closed to the public to reduce the possibility of transmission events.
Exercise is further restricted to an individual and one other person, for up to two hours. Dependents can be included if they can’t be left unattended.
The other person can be from another household.
The change means those in large households will no longer be able to all exercise together.
People will no longer be able to remove masks in order to drink alcohol.
‘You will no longer be able to remove your mask to drink a cocktail at a pop-up beer garden on a footpath as part of a pub crawl,’ Mr Andrews said.
Masks must continue to be carried at all time and worn indoors and outdoors, except if at home or when visiting an intimate partner’s place of residence.
Changes for construction sites
Large scale construction sites must now cut down their staff on site to 25 per cent. Smaller projects would be limited to five people on site.
Additional restrictions would also come into effect in relation to movement between sites where tradespeople work multiple sites.
Religious gatherings and ceremonies
No in-person gatherings are permitted. Broadcasts are of these gatherings are permitted with five people, but the same five people must be involved in producing the broadcast.
Schools will remain closed. Dr Sutton said on Monday of a possible return to school by September 2: ‘We will preferentially look to Year 11 and 12 students getting back [in classrooms] because of their particular needs.’
Melburnians in the midst of their sixth Covid lockdown are about to face even harsher restrictions with controversial curfew laws set to return on Tuesday, despite virus experts and even the police union speaking out against the move (pictured, Flinders Street Station on Monday)