A pub owner, hoping he’d hear he could reopen his business yesterday, has lashed out at the Victorian Premier in an emotional video.
Premier Dan Andrews put a “cautious pause” on easing restrictions due to a coronavirus cluster in north Melbourne.
“We are not in a position to do that today because we have at least 1000 test results from that northern metropolitan outbreak that are in the labs,” Mr Andrews said yesterday.
All test results came in last night, with no additional coronavirus cases found.
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Business owners across retail and hospitality were hoping for sweeping change yesterday after Mr Andrews told reporters on Friday that Victoria was “very well placed to make significant announcements on Sunday”.
But Mr Andrews again asked for further patience yesterday as health authorities awaited the test results from the north Melbourne cluster.
His request left many Melbourne business owners with a sour taste in their mouth.
South Melbourne’s Lamaro’s Hotel owner Paul Dimattina lashed out at the Premier in an emotional interview with Sky News, and called for Mr Andrews to resign.
“Enough is enough. I said the bloke should go; it’s time he puts his hand up and gets out of our state, stops running us into the ground,” Mr Dimattina told Sky News .
“It’s just the new norm for us … the lies, the rubbish that they talk. Our new norm is getting lied to every day, our new norm is disappointment.”
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Fighting back tears, Mr Dimattina asked: “How much longer do we have to be put in a jail cell? How much longer for a crime we didn’t commit?”
“We are over it Dan, we are over it – and you,” he added.
Mr Dimattina, a former Western Bulldogs AFL player, said the city was still waiting, despite the target of less than five cases a day being reached.
“We got told that road map out, we had to achieve the targets that have been achieved, yet we’re still closed, another lie,” he said.
“We’ve been on a cautious pause and a cautious lockdown for three months. How much longer do we have to suffer.”
Victoria today recorded zero new cases and zero new deaths, a massive milestone for the state and a number that will likely pave the way for an easing of restrictions today.
In a separate interview this morning, another Melbourne business owner was on the brink of tears addressing the impact of the city’s lockdown.
Adrian Rigotto, owner of Match & Co Cafe, became emotional on Nine’s Today this morning after being asked about the Premier’s decision not to ease restrictions yesterday.
“It’s been very tough for us all here. And not (just) here in Melbourne but all over Victoria. You know, we don’t feel there is any confidence in the Government, his contact tracing, everything is breaking down,” Mr Rigotto said.
Mr Rigotto’s cafe had been closed for about nine months now and employs around 25 full-time staff and multiple casual workers.
He told the show he has “got nothing left”.
“You don’t understand. I’m only a small little fish. Imagine these big companies who have got shops everywhere, you know, chains. Retail. There is nothing,” he said.
The fury comes after new analysis revealed Melbourne’s lockdown was costing a whopping $200 million and 1200 jobs a day.
Treasury data, obtained by The Australian, showed federal economic support provided to Victorians was on track to hit $75 billion.
JobKeeper, JobSeeker and other economic measures, including payments for Victorians needing to isolate as close coronavirus contacts, had hit $200 million a day.
And data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed Victoria lost an average of 1200 jobs a day between August and September with the virus-stricken state making up more than half of Australia’s total job losses.