With now more than 10 million vaccination doses administered across Australia which is a very significant milestone, I remind every Victorian of the importance of being tested if they have any symptoms. If you are eligible for a vaccine, please come forward as soon as possible. From tomorrow, supply of the Pfizer vaccine will be increased to around 1 million doses a week.

With the chance that Lockdown No 5 could be extended, I reiterate the financial support the Morrison Government is providing to support Victorians during this extremely difficult time including the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for eligible applicants. This will provide income support of up to $600 per week for eligible applicants who work or reside in a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot. Residents working or living outside a COVID-19 hotspot may also be eligible for support, to be provided by the Victorian Government, which is also providing financial support to eligible businesses.

Lockdowns must be a last resort. I hope and trust that the parts of Victoria where there have been no cases of community transmission will be permitted to re-open as soon as possible.

As the number of public exposure sites grows dramatically, I pay tribute to every Victorian who is doing their bit to mitigate the spread of the virus particularly given the highly infectious nature of the Delta strain.

In my own community of Barwon Heads, literally hundreds of families are in isolation for 14 days after the Barwon Heads Primary School and the local football oval at Village Park were declared exposure sites. The community spirit we have seen where local residents are supporting each other with food drops, shopping and even dog walking is so heartening.

After attending the Geelong v Carlton match at the MCG on 10 July 2021, I am one of several thousand fans who has been asked to be tested and then, today, re-rested.  I am pleased to report that my first test was negative; and I will undertake a second test as soon as possible.

As our government continues to focus on protecting lives and livelihoods, I thank all of our frontline workers who are doing so much to protect our community at this time.

 

18 July 2021