There are growing demands to bring back the “ring of steel” around Melbourne and open up regional Victoria.
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Mayors in the Victoria area are calling on the state government to consider restoring the “ring of steel” around Melbourne or easing restrictions in their counties.
Given the latest active cases in the state, all of which are currently in suburban areas, West Wimmera Mayor Bruce Meyer said that imposing a steel ring has proven “difficult” in the past but would welcome it if it did easing the restrictions.
“If it could work it would be awesome, but it’s too easy for people to slip through,” he said.
West Wimmera is on the border of Victoria and South Australia, meaning the county bears the brunt of the lockdowns in both states.
“I think the feeling all over Wimmera is that we are really struggling to understand why we have the same severe restrictions if we haven’t seen Covid here,” he said.
“I would like to see the health warnings as to why the regions are closed.
“We’re closer to Adelaide than Melbourne … between two governments that imposed restrictions, it had a massive impact on hospitality, community sports, and everyone.”
East Gippsland Mayor Mendy Urie said she really hoped a revived steel ring would be considered.
“It would be something that would relieve the situation in the regions,” said Urie.
When asked about the repositioning of a steel ring, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said: “We are not ruling anything out. I have one more border that I need to protect – the NSW border. Regional mayors have a right to their views.
Wangaratta Mayor Dean Rees said he would like the state government to “take a look at us and try to ease restrictions”.
“Yes, lock us up if we get cases, but indulge us,” said Mr. Rees.
But he admitted that he didn’t want to see the steel ring return and said, “I feel like we’re all in it together.”
But Warrnambool Mayor Vicki Jellie said while small businesses and tourism companies were hurt, she understood the lockdowns were the right thing to do. “We have to follow the rules because we can see the Delta Tribe get out of hand,” said Ms. Jellie.
“We have to hold on to it, however difficult it may be.”
The Mayor of Warrnambool said a renewed steel ring could be a solution, but she feared it would not be properly monitored.
“Has the steel ring worked before? It’s questionable, ”said Ms. Jellie.
“My fear is that it cannot be guaranteed. There is a risk that one person will do the wrong thing and destroy it for everyone. ”
‘DO A GEOGRAPHY LESSON, DAN’
With zero cases in their communities, regional Victorians are pleading for exemption from enforced bans and restrictions.
William Bonnici, from Wodonga, said he was angry when he heard the news that his community would be affected by another lockdown.
“The prime minister has forgotten how far we are from Melbourne – 300 km,” said Bonnici.
“He should go back to school and take a geography lesson.”
The more than 40,000 residents of Wodonga were blocked together with Melbourne on Thursday after Covid traces were discovered in the sewage in Wangaratta.
“The reason for the closure of the Victoria region was this wastewater detection – which has since returned as completely false – a false positive result,” said Bonnici.
“It certainly gets rid of any trust people have in every decision they make.”
WIN A PRIZE FOR YOUR JAB
Victorians can win daily prizes for a Covid-19 vaccination as part of a massive incentive program being introduced by the City of Melbourne.
Mayor Sally Capp will announce an eight-week contest on Sunday that will reward those who receive the vaccine with vouchers for shops, restaurants and other CBD attractions.
Every day there is a chance to win another prize
to arouse enthusiasm and support for the rollout.
The campaign begins Monday, August 16, and has a prize pool of $ 100,000
Ms. Capp urged Melburnians to start vaccinating, saying that now could be one of the most dangerous times to be unvaccinated.
“We want to thank and reward Melburnians who have already been vaccinated and give those who haven’t got a little extra motivation so that the city can reopen and stay open,” she said.
“I want Melbourne to be the most vaccinated city in Australia because it’s the only way to be confident.
“The vaccine is critical to protecting ourselves and our most vulnerable from Covid-19, getting back to the things we miss, seeing the people we love, and safely reviving our economy.”
The prize is 10 separate $ 5000 Melbourne Experience packages that highlight the best attractions in the CBD and are up for grabs in a two-week radio campaign.
The packages include vouchers for shopping at Emporium Melbourne on Lonsdale St, accommodation and four tickets to Frozen the Musical.
The second part of the program aims to encourage Victorians to talk on social media about what they are looking forward to most when Melbourne opens.
People are also encouraged to share their stories of “vaccine heroes” – people they know who speak to their GPs about their eligibility and get vaccinated when possible. Victorians who have the jab or are booked for appointments can apply.
It comes after Scott Morrison unveiled a plan that sets a benchmark for 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated to minimize the frequency of bans as the standard response to coronavirus outbreaks.
Councilor Roshena Campbell, who heads the city council’s city activation portfolio, said higher vaccination rates were vital to keeping the city open.
“More people vaccinated mean more protection for our loved ones and safety for business owners and workers,” she said.
COVID SMS FRAUD WARNING
Victorians are warned of text message scams that try to trick people into believing they have contracted the coronavirus.
The scam messages claim to be from Melbourne Pathology and state that the recipient tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health said officials are not sending text messages to people who have the disease.
“Officials will call you and advise you on isolation and your next steps [if you test positive for coronavirus]”Said the Ministry of Health in a statement.
“If you get a text message that says you tested positive, ignore it.”
The Department of Health sends text messages to people who test negative or receive an “unrecognized” result.