Victoria accused of 'whinging' over support

Benita KolovosAAP
VideoThe McGowan Government has slammed the Commonwealth for rejecting a request for disaster payments to extended to WA workers during the recent lockdown

The federal government has accused Victoria of “whinging” and politicising the coronavirus pandemic after the state’s premier raising questions about its response to the crisis in NSW.

NSW is in the midst of a outbreak in Greater Sydney and surrounding regions that has already claimed the lives of two people and infected almost 680 people.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced revamped federal support for states enduring long lockdowns, in the wake of the Sydney crisis, saying it is in the national interest to be more generous.

While NSW deserved every support possible, “Victorians are rightly sick and tired of having to beg for every scrap of support from the federal government” a spokesperson for the premier’s office said in a statement.

“We had to shame the federal government into doing their job and providing income support for Victorian workers when we battled the Delta strain earlier this year.”

Vic Health personnel prepare to enter Ariele Apartmentt.
Camera IconVictoria has been accused of whinging after questioning the federal response to the NSW crisis, Credit: AAP

The statement issued on Tuesday went on to accuse the federal government of double standards, saying Mr Morrison’s job “is not to be the prime minister for NSW”.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg turned on Premier Daniel Andrews telling ABC’s 730 program “people are sick of his whinging and his politiking of the crisis”.

“The reality is this, we have provided more support on a per capita basis to Victoria through JobKeeper than any other state,” he said.

Under the support package, businesses in NSW will get a cashflow boost cosing $500 million a week from next week.

The federal government will share the cashflow support burden 50/50 with the NSW government.

“Victoria was offered a 50-50 split and they decided to reject that,” Mr Frydenberg said,

The support package will cut out when the Sydney lockdown ends, but sets up a national framework that will be applied to other states and territories in the future.

Meanwhile, another petrol station and fast food restaurant have been added to Victoria’s growing list of coronavirus exposure sites.

Caltex Kalkallo and Hungry Jack’s Kalkallo, both on the Hume Highway, were added as tier-one exposure sites overnight.

Anyone who visited the venues, including the petrol pumps and toilets, between 9.07am and 10.06am on Thursday are required to immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days.

It’s not yet known if the exposure sites are linked to a Victorian who drove home from NSW on Thursday, or three removalists who travelled from Sydney through Victoria to SA last week.

Three members of the Victorian’s family, who live in the local government area of Hume, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The family had red zone permits to return to Victoria, meaning they have been required to self-isolate at home since their arrival.

One family member, however, visited a Coles supermarket in Craigieburn and Metro petrol station in Broadmeadows, the latter now a tier-one exposure site.

The removalists made a drop-off at a family home in Craigieburn and a pick-up at the Ariele Apartments in Maribyrnong on Thursday.

Both households who came into contact with the removalists - a family of five and a family of four - are isolating and have tested negative so far.

Up to 200 people at the apartment complex are also required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The removalists then visited the McDonald’s and Mobil on the Western Freeway at Ballan, with one taking a shower at the petrol station. Both sites have been listed as tier-one exposure sites from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday.

It is believed the men slept in their truck before driving to Adelaide on Friday morning.

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