Labor’s cruel announcement from last week is getting even worse with the very few sole traders eligible to apply for Labor’s meagre support package still being unable to do so.
A week after Daniel Andrews announced that he is abandoning 90 per cent of sole traders by providing them with no support, the Business Victoria website is still not accepting applications for grants from sole traders.
When asked in today’s press conference about when support for sole traders would be delivered, Daniel Andrews had absolutely no idea – a callous demonstration of the contempt he has for Victorian small business operators.
Victorians have lost confidence in Daniel Andrews’ ability to govern our state and his utter contempt for sole traders is yet another example of how he is failing Victorians.
The Liberal Nationals want primary and specialist schools across Melbourne to reopen for day one of Term 4 so that students can get back to learning for their future, reconnecting with friends, and to do so in a safe manner with COVID-safe school plans.
The Andrews Labor Government should also ensure that all Melbourne secondary school students should return to school Thursday 8 October, immediately following completion of the General Achievement Test (GAT).
This would bring Melbourne schools into line with regional Victoria and ensure all of our students have the best learning opportunities.
If you think it is time for Daniel Andrews to get our students safely get back into the classroom, please, have your say, share your opinion and add your voice to https://www.noconfidence.com.au/open-our-schools
A Royal Commission into Victoria’s COVID-19 pandemic response is vital.
Hundreds of lives have been lost and millions of Victorians have been locked down. We will be bearing the human and economic cost of this for a generation.
That’s why Victoria needs the full powers of a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of Victoria’s bungled second wave response.
We all deserve the truth and we need to learn the lessons for the future.
If Labor rejects a Royal Commission, then an O’Brien Liberal Nationals government will ensure it happens.
The decision to impose a curfew on Melbourne wasn’t based on the Chief Health Officer’s advice.
It wasn’t based on police request. It was a decision made by Daniel Andrews alone.
The Premier just wants to control Victorians because he can’t control the virus.
Melbourne’s night curfew has been in force for 58 days and has resulted in more than $6 million in fines and represents the single greatest limitation imposed on the freedoms of Victorians in our state’s history.
Daniel Andrews has misled the community about the basis of his curfew and now must be scrapped immediately.
The Liberal Nationals believe the curfew should be lifted immediately. Victorians deserve this basic freedom back.
The people in the Rowville electorate have voiced their concern, stating they do not want the Andrews Labor Government to be granted a further 6 month extension for the State of Emergency.
I have received a large number of phone calls and emails from constituents who are struggling with the Stage 4 restrictions. We need a plan out of this mess and I do not believe that the Government who put us in this situation, deserve any more opportunities to ruin this great state.
For my full speech, find link below;
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael O’Brien and his Liberal Nationals team have fulfilled their core role of holding the Victorian Government to account while also putting forward sensible ideas. The areas covered are as follows:
1. Health (pandemic management)
2. Law and safety
3. Household finances
4. Individual assistance
5. Business assistance
6. Transparency and accountability
HEALTH (PANDEMIC MANAGEMENT)
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following changes relating to contact tracing, hotels for health workers, testing policy, COVID-19 restrictions and the public housing tower lockdown.
- 25 March – Provide a one-year extension of the terms of hospital board members who were approaching the end of their terms at 30 June to ensure board continuity and stability.
- 1 April – Deliver priority access to testing for the agriculture workforce, similar to the provisions made for health workers; and make Victoria’s hotel rooms available for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. The Victorian Government subsequently announced that it would make hotel rooms available for healthcare workers.
- 2 April – Urgently explain the decision to ban all recreational fishing under Stage 3 restrictions, counter to the policy in other states. (Note that in the second round of Victorian Stage 3 lockdowns which commenced on 9 July, fishing was not banned.)
- 1 May – Reconsider the push for randomly testing 100,000 Victorians by targeting specific groups of vulnerable and high-risk Victorians such as the elderly and those in health facilities.
- 20 June – Take responsibility for the surge in Coronavirus cases and not place blame on families.
- 23 June – Fix unreasonable wait times for COVID-19 testing of over two hours
- 4 July – Respect, decency and a full range of social and policing supports for the 3,000 residents of nine public housing towers across Flemington and North Melbourne that were under hard lockdown.
- 7 July – Provide all resources necessary following reports of a lack of police, and lack of food supplies and other necessities for the residents in the locked down towers.
- 12 July – Introduce new laws to deter and punish those who deliberately infect others with COVID-19 as have been introduced in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
- 15 July – Employ tougher measures to deter residents in the Melbourne lockdown zone from travelling to country areas, noting that it puts lives at risk.
- 19 July – Address the severe delays by DHHS in tracing the contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases which makes it difficult to contain the virus and will drive further outbreaks and longer lockdowns.
- 22 July – Introduce further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from metropolitan Victoria to regional Victoria, such as temperature checks at road borders and on V-line services, mandatory face masks on V-line services and better response times from DHHS on test results and contact tracing.
- 26 July – Provide a dedicated COVID-19 hotline to schools and childcare centres that are being left in the dark when it comes to knowing exactly what to do when they are presented with a COVID-19 case.
- 28 July – Immediately provide all public healthcare staff with proper protection gear following reports that Victorian doctors aren’t being supplied adequate protective equipment and are being forced to steal masks or buy their own.
- 2 August – Implement ankle monitoring bracelets and hotel quarantine for people with COVID19 who deliberately breach isolation rules.
- 6 August – Publicly release COVID-19 genomic data that the Victorian Government is refusing to publish.
- 12 August – Explain the callous and inhumane Health Department directives that are turning away older and other vulnerable Victorians from hospitals.
- 17 August – Explain the government’s failure to provide a plan to prevent COVID outbreaks in State-run and funded Supported Residential Service facilities
On 20 August the Liberal Nationals called on WorkSafe to detail what investigations it has, or will be undertaking into the hotel quarantine fiasco.
On 24 August the Liberal Nationals announced an intention to oppose and vote to defeat the Daniel Andrews attempt to extend State of Emergency powers for a further 12 months.
LAW AND SAFETY
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following changes relating to protective services officers, sentence discounts, the Police Assistance Line, the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions and CBD protests.
- 4 April – Enable the temporary redeployment of PSOs throughout Victoria to areas of need such as shopping centres. On 6 April, the Victorian Government announced it would adopt this Liberal Nationals idea.
- 13 May – Provide better clarity on COVID-19 social distancing restrictions so that Victoria Police don’t need to seek supervisor approval before issuing a fine for COVID-19 social distancing breaches
- 14 April – Ensure that common sense is applied to the social distancing rules being asked of Victorians so that fines are only applied where there is a threat to public health.
- 19 May – Rule out allowing some of Victoria’s worst offenders to be awarded 14 days off their sentence for following the same COVID-19 lockdown measures required of the rest of the community.
- 19 May – Address the botched management of the Police Assistance Line (PAL) which has let down those who are simply trying to do the right thing by reporting breaches of COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine requirements among members of the community. With the public having made over 30,000 reports of COVID-19 breaches via PAL, neither the Chief Commissioner or Police Minister were able to say how many of these reports had resulted in a spot check being conducted or a fine being issued.
- 19 May – Address its failure to provide a clear set of rules during COVID-19 which left Victoria Police second-guessing themselves and the community paying the price for Labor’s ambiguous and inconsistent shutdown rules.
- 21 May – Ensure that the PSO presence on train platforms is not a casualty of the pandemic. If Daniel Andrews wants to expand the role of PSOs, he must employ more rather than removing them from train stations and compromising the safety of commuters. Victorian commuters deserve a visible policing presence and Daniel Andrews must commit to returning two PSOs to all train stations as soon as possible.
- 3 June – Ensure that COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings are complied with and enforced consistently, including in relation to planned protest activities.
- 5 June – Use the State of Emergency powers and shut down a planned mass protest in the Melbourne CBD The government failed to shut down this protest and it went ahead on 6 June with approximately 10,000 protesters in attendance.
- 12 June – Acknowledge that the failure to stop a mass CBD protest and ensure fines were issued to participants left Victorians questioning if there is one set of rules for activists and another set for ordinary Victorians.
- 6 July – Bring in the ADF to support law enforcement in Victoria.
- 19 July – Prevent Regional Corrections officers from being deployed to the lockdown zone in metropolitan Melbourne to protect staff from contracting COVID-19 and spreading it within their communities
- 23 July – Properly manage Victoria’s corrections system during COVID-19 to prevent thousands of prisoners becoming eligible for up to four ‘emergency management days’ for each day they are locked down. A breach at Ravenhall Prison caused 6 major Victorian prisons in Melbourne, Ararat, Langi Kal Kal, Sale, Geelong and Castlemaine being sent into lockdown resulting in a ‘get out of jail early’ card for 4,000 inmates.
- 24 July – Act immediately to prevent further incidents of apparent breaches of Victoria Police checkpoints by metropolitan Melbourne residents
On 15 July the Liberal Nationals wrote to the Fair Work Ombudsman requesting she undertake an investigation into the wide spread allegations of wage underpayment, sham contracting and other illegal behaviour associated with the deployment of security guards as part of Daniel Andrews botched his hotel quarantine program.
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following changes relating to land tax relief, local council rates relief, freeze on the bin tax, freeze and refund fees and charges, and make changes to bring down utility bills.
- 25 March – Deliver land tax credits for residential and commercial property owners who do the right thing and provide rent relief to tenants. On 15 April, the Victorian Government announced it would adopt this policy in part.
- 27 March – Reconsider the decision to order 125GL of water from the Wonthaggi desalination plant, as such an order would mean Victorians miss out on a reduction in water bills when it is most needed.
- 1 April – Facilitate local government to deliver a residential rate freeze by local councils for the 2020-21 financial year, along with immediate rate relief to distressed households.
- 3 April – Negotiate with Transurban and cancel the quarterly increase in CityLink tolls to reduce cost pressures on individuals and businesses.
- 6 April – Provide immediate relief to Victorian families by scrapping the Bin Tax increase, scheduled for 1 July. Following this, the Victorian Government announced on 22 April it would delay the increase until 1 January 2021.
- 8 April – Refund campsite fees for the State’s Crown land parks and National Parks to thousands of Victorians who have booked campsites only to find camping off limits during Stage 3 restrictions.
- 1 May – Protect newly-vulnerable Victorians from the disconnection of their power supply.
- 21 August – Extend registrations for vehicles in Metropolitan Melbourne for the equivalent time of Stage 4 restrictions.
- 26 August – Suspend the Vacant Residential Land Tax for 2020. This affects a wide range of people who are unable to find a tenant due to the COVID-19 outbreak
On 15 May – The Liberal Nationals launched Back to Work and Back in Business, a comprehensive plan for the Victorian Government to adopt to kick-start the post-COVID economy, including measures to assist Victorian businesses.
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following changes relating to education, child care, license testing, food supplies and consumer affairs.
- 1 April – Prioritise those who have had their driving licence tests cancelled because of the COVID19 crisis when testing recommences.
- 7 April – Fund Term 2 fees for kinder programs across Victoria to help ease the burden on both parents and kinders.
- 7 April – Take full responsibility for ensuring that all students receive the technological support they need to learn remotely.
- 22 April – Provide more support to carers and families of those with special needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as gathering restrictions forced the cessation of group support sessions.
- 16 June – Take action on the issue of license testing which has resulted in a year and a half-long backlog for people to get their drivers’ license.
- 30 June – Ensure that childcare centres are supported during closure, and affected students are provided with the resources they need, so they don’t miss out on vital learning during this difficult time.
- 2 July – provide an adequate avenue for Victorian consumers to have their complaints handled, noting that Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is responsible for significant parts of the consumer marketplace and the phone lines at CAV have been inoperative since 16 March.
- 21 July – Extend temporary changes to truck curfews past 21 September to ensure Victorians can still get quick access to food and medical supplies and there is less risk of panic-buying.
- 24 July – Further clarify the very strict rules that appear to limit visits by partners to maternity ward mothers to just 2 hours a day to ensure there is a balance between COVID-19 prevention and the long term mental and health wellbeing of new parents
- 28 July – Guarantee it will not stop businesses in Victoria’s food supply chain from doing their critical work keeping supermarket shelves fully stocked, following the Government flagging that it will consider closing meat processors as part of its pandemic response.
- 7 August – Clarify if in-home child-minding arrangements are allowed to continue, for non permitted workers, if an arrangement is already in place.
- 8 August – Make family reunification order visits fairer and more flexible during the COVID crisis, as many parents have been unable to have face-to-face contact with their children since March 2020 due to COVID restrictions.
- 11 August – Clarify the licence testing arrangements that will be put into place during Stage 3 and 4 restrictions in Victoria. The Victorian Government has ignored calls for computerised hazard testing to be completed online.
On 26 March, the Liberal Nationals published the first version of an Individual Assistance Fact Sheet, a document to help Victorians understand what type of financial help was available to them and how they might access it. This document has been updated with the latest news throughout both waves of the pandemic.
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following changes relating to the federal JobKeeper payment, fees and charges for businesses, WorkCover premiums, farm rates, industrial relations, payroll tax concessions and the Business Support Fund.
- 2 April – Waive a number of fees tied to commercial passenger vehicle operators, including taxis.
- 5 April – Exempt the Federal Government’s $1,500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments from Victoria’s payroll tax. One month later, on 5 May, the Victorian Government announced it would adopt this Liberal Nationals idea.
- 9 April – Cancel the $700 million dividend raid from WorkCover and instead provide relief to distressed businesses.
- 9 April – Freeze farm rates to support farmers struggling with financial pressure caused by both the bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic.
- 17 April – Waive registration payments for commercial vehicles grounded as a result of lockdowns.
- 24 April – Make long service leave more flexible so that employers and employees can mutually agree to utilise an employee’s entitlements.
- 28 April – Exempt JobKeeper payments from being considered remuneration when calculating WorkCover premiums. On 5 May, the Victorian Government announced it would adopt this Liberal Nationals idea.
- 30 April – Provide transparency on the limited number of industry sectors eligible for the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund and expand this support to all industry sectors. Following this advocacy, the Victorian Government agreed to expand eligibility to all industry sectors.
- 16 June – Provide a clear plan or notice for racing clubs to put in place COVID-safe protocols to allow the racing industry to get back on track.
- 1 July – Extend payroll tax concessions following the Victorian Government’s withdrawal of payroll tax concessions for businesses with payrolls under $3 million which had expired on 30 June. The only payroll tax relief measure now in place is the ability to defer the amount owing until Q3 2020-21.
- 14 July – Provide better support for struggling small business. The $5,000 grant on offer by the Victorian Government falls short of what Victorian small businesses need to get them through the second round of lockdowns.
- 16 July – Do more to assist struggling business as the unemployment rate increased in June for the third consecutive month to 7.5 per cent, up from just 5.2 per cent prior to the pandemic. Just under 169,000 jobs have been lost since March in Victoria, with more to come after the reintroduction of restrictions.
- 21 July – Urgently resolve the ban on seasonal workers crossing into and out of Victoria which has left Victoria’s horticulture sector concerned about the supply of labour.
- 29 July – Work with the South Australia and New South Wales State Government’s to fix the mess at Victoria’s borders and ensure vital goods are able to flow freely across state borders.
- 3 August – Provide more to support affected workers and small business through Stage 4 business restrictions, including a dedicated hotline for workers and business operators.
- 5 August – Provide an exemption from the Government’s Stage 4 lockdown rules for critical supply chain businesses at risk of failure if forced to close. Such an exemption was included in draft rules leaked to the public but removed prior to the closure decision being taken.
- 5 August – Deliver support to all Victorian businesses hit by Stage 4 restrictions, including sole traders, before more lives and livelihoods are ruined.
- 5 August – Urgently explain and clarify the Stage 4 restrictions to be imposed on the property and real estate industry.
- 5 August – Ensure all importers can access their containers during Stage 4 lockdown to prevent good including critical medical supplies, food and PPE from being stuck on dock.
- 6 August – Guarantee that the supply chain will continue to operate without interruption during Stage 4 lockdown so that supermarkets will have the goods they need on shelves, not locked in warehouses.
- 13 August – Arrange permits for the agriculture sector to streamline interstate access for farmers and the agriculture supply chain at Victoria’s borders with New South Wales and South Australia.
- 15 August – Ensure that Business Support Fund support is made available for all Victorian small businesses and sole traders impacted by COVID restrictions.
- 15 August – Provide funding support for the event industry hit so hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
On 24 March, the Liberal Nationals published the first version of a Business Assistance Fact Sheet, a document to help Victorian business owners understand what type of financial help was available to their business and how they might access it. This document has been updated with the latest news throughout both waves of the pandemic.
On 15 May – The Liberal Nationals launched Back to Work and Back in Business, a comprehensive plan for the Victorian Government to adopt to kick-start the post-COVID economy, including measures to assist Victorian businesses.
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
The Liberal Nationals have called on the Victorian Government to implement the following transparency and accountability changes.
- 1 April – Freeze the salaries of all members of Victorian Parliament ahead of the scheduled pay rise for politicians on 1 July 2020.
- 2 April – Establish a Joint House Committee of the Victorian Parliament under the leadership of a non-Government MP to ensure oversight on Victoria’s response to COVID-19.
- 6 May – Launch an independent inquiry into its handling of the state’s then-largest COVID-19 cluster at the Cedar Meats abattoir.
- 19 May – Explain the failure to advise WorkSafe of the potential exposure of one of its employees while attending Cedar Meats for a safety inspection.
- 20 May – Rule out spending the government’s additional $24.5 billion in new debt for COVID related matters to fill the government bottomless pit of cost overruns following Labor Minister Jacinta Allan’s refusal to rule out that out.
- 3 July – Resume sittings of Parliament to ensure that locked down Victorians receive the answers they need about the government failures which have led to the second wave of COVID-19.
- 8 July – Request a Victoria Police investigation into alleged criminal behaviour in the management of the Victorian Government’s botched hotel quarantine system.
- 14 July – Stop dodging questions about its hotel quarantine fiasco after the publication of leaked emails that showed top bureaucrats warned senior Health officials as early as March that the guards employed were ill-equipped for the work.
- 20 July – Explain reports that Victoria Police have been called in to secure and manage Victoria’s quarantine hotels and whether operational deficiencies in the hotel program have been adequately addressed since Corrections Victoria took control of the program earlier in July.
- 6 August – Ensure that criminal investigations into COVID-19 associated deaths in Victorian workplaces must examine alleged negligence at the hands of Daniel Andrews and his Ministers.
- 13 August – Provide Victorians real answers as to why Australian Defence Force support was refused, even when systemic issues were revealed within quarantine hotels.
On 8 August the Liberal Nationals called for the Coate Hotel Quarantine Inquiry to provide Michael O’Brien as Leader of the Opposition the opportunity to appear and present a non-government external voice to ensure every day Victorians have a seat at the Inquiry.
On 12 August the Liberal Nationals members of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee called for Daniel Andrews re-appear at the Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to explain why he lied to the committee, or to give him a chance to correct the record.
State of Emergency
Today Daniel Andrews announced he will seek to extend Victoria’s State of Emergency powers from the current maximum of 6 months to a new maximum of 18 months.
This is unacceptable to the Victorian Liberal Nationals and we will oppose it.
It sets a dangerous precedent to dispense with a traditional Westminster cabinet government and a functioning parliament that meets regularly.
The State of Emergency is the legal framework under which the current wide-ranging restrictions on people’s lives and livelihoods including restrictions on leaving your own home, business closures, travel bans, quarantine arrangements and curfews are made.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Andrews Labor Government has been extending the State of Emergency in four-week blocks. However, the law states that there is a maximum six-month limit on a declaration of a State of Emergency, which is due to expire on 16 September 2020.
The reason why a declaration of a State of Emergency is strictly time limited is clear – because such massive government powers over the lives of Victorians must not be open-ended.
State of Emergency powers represent a significant erosion of individual freedom and are intended to operate for only a short period.
State of Emergency powers must only operate under appropriate safeguards, scrutiny and checks and balances. Any attempt by the Andrews Labor Government to give itself such enormous powers, particularly in the absence of any enhanced accountability measures is dangerous to our democracy and your rights as a citizen.
I want to thank the many members who have already reached out to my office and I to express concern, and who are ready to take up the fight to Daniel Andrews on this critical issue.
As always you can visit our Facebook and Instagram to help spread our message and help other Victorian’s see how much of a disaster Dan is for our State.
Stay safe and stay well,
Update on COVID-19 directions
6 August 2020
Below is an update on new directions released by the Victorian Government this morning in relation to restricted activity and stay at home rules.
Each of these directions were operational as of 11:59pm on 5 August 2020, and will expire on 11:59pm on 16 August 2020. This expiry date correlates with the next expected extension of the State of Emergency declaration.
The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of some of the changes that have been made today in the Restricted Activity Directions and Stay At Home Directions for both metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
Note, it is likely that the Government replace some of these directions prior to 16 August 2020.
It is also likely that over coming days the Government will continue to refine its website ‘list of permitted work premises’ and how these are practically intended to operate.
The information provided by the Government to date is poorly written, badly organised, and leaves many questions unanswered for different industries and workplaces. A continued need for further clarifications will be an ongoing project for government for some days to come.
Metro Melbourne – Stage 4 – Restricted Activity directions
The new Stage 4 Restricted Activity direction have now organized businesses into two categories ‘Permitted Work Premises’ and ‘Closed Work Premises’.
The previous approach of specifically listing the types of premises that are required to close appears to have been abandoned in metropolitan Melbourne restricted activity directions.
Permitted Work Premises
‘A person who owns, controls or operates a Permitted Work Premises in the Restricted Area may operate that premises during the restricted activity period to the extent permitted by the Directions currently in force.’
The specific list of ‘permitted work premises’ now exists outside the signed orders. It means anything that appears under the below link.
Despite the above, a person who owns, controls or operates a Permitted Work Premises in the Restricted Area may operate that premises:
(a) for the purpose of essential maintenance; or
(b) by permitting employees to work from the place where they ordinarily reside; or
(c) as required or authorised by law; or
(d) in an emergency; or
(e) as otherwise permitted by the Directions currently in force.
It is noted that if a Work Premises includes a number of functions and only part of the functions undertaken at the premises are a Permitted Work Premises, only those permitted functions may operate.
If there is any inconsistency between the general obligations and the specific obligations set out in the Directions currently in force, the specific obligations will prevail.
Permitted work premises must also comply with two new directions:
New Direction 1
‘Permitted Worker Permit Scheme and Access to Onsite Childcare/Kindergarten Permit Scheme Directions’
These directions are related to the requirements and obligations of the Permitted Worker Scheme.
New Direction 2
These directions provide requirements on preventative measures in the workplace, and responding to a suspected/confirmed COVID case in a work premises.
Signage, cleaning, record requirements that previously appeared within these Restricted Activity Directions now appear within these new directions.
The Workplace Directions also list a requirement that an employer
‘must not require or permit a worker to perform work at more than one Work Premises of the employer’
unless it is not practicable. For example, healthcare and social care workers, and tradespeople performing essential repairs.
The Workplace Directions also require that employers with five or more workers working at a Work Premises must have a ‘COVID Safe Plan’. Employers are directed to this website for guidance on developing a COVID safe plan – https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/creating-a-covid-safe-workplace#yourcovidsafeplan.
There is some ‘sector guidance’ on the COVID safe plan webpages, but it is frequently changing and lacks detail.
Closed Work Premises
‘A person who owns, controls or operates a Closed Work Premises in the Restricted Area must not permit persons to attend that premises during the restricted activity period.’
There is NO SPECIFIC LIST of Closed Work Premises.
Closed Work Premises simply means “a Work Premises that is not a Permitted Work Premises”. Practically this means anything that is not on the Permitted Work Premises list is closed.
A person who owns, controls or operates a Closed Work Premises may attended the premises in the following circumstances:
(a) for the purpose of essential maintenance; or
(b) to ensure that the premises is closed safely for the duration of the restricted activity period; or
(c) by permitting employees to work from the place where they ordinarily reside to operate the premises; or
(d) as required or authorised by law; or
(e) in an emergency; or
(f) as otherwise permitted by these Directions.
There are exceptions in these directions that allow certain permitted operations of professional sport, educational facilities, and childcare facilities.
Metro Melbourne – Stage 4 – Stay At Home Directions
There have been some additional changes to the Stay At Home directions for Metropolitan Melbourne including:
- Changes that allow workers with permits to take their child a school, childcare service, or another person’s premises for the purpose of child-minding assistance (provided it is an existing in-home child-minding assistance arrangement – no new arrangements are permitted).
- Changes to allow a person to leave their premises for the purpose or driving a person with whom they ordinarily reside where it is not otherwise reasonable practicable for that person to leave their premises for a purpose permitted under, and provided they comply with, these directions. This action is also permitted during curfew.
- A person may now only visit a secondary residence for ‘emergency maintenance’. This was previously ‘necessary maintenance’.
- Changes that prevent a person from visiting a cemetery or other memorial for a deceased person to pay respects to a deceased person, if it involves travelling further than 5km from the premises where the person ordinarily resides.
- A new reason to leave home for compassionate reasons if a person has a pet at their premises and it is necessary to take the pet outdoors to urinate or defecate, if it is not reasonably practicable for the pet to do so at the person’s premises. Changes also allow a person to leave their premises during curfew for a ‘pet toilet break’.
- Clarification that court-ordered child protection visits are currently suspended within Metro Melbourne.
- Clarification that if at the start of the stay at home period a person has a signed contract for a residential property which is scheduled to settled during the stay at home period, dealing with that residential property may continue.
Similarly if a person is a residential tenant whose lease is expiring during the stay at home period, dealing with residential property may continue.
- Clarification that persons entering a premises for care or other compassionate reasons should be ‘no more than the minimum necessary to do so’.
- Clarification that persons entering a premises for work or education purposes should only do so ‘where the work will take place and such work is urgent and essential’.
Examples provides include a tradeperson for the purpose of carrying out urgent and essential repairs, a disability support worker, a vet, or a person for end of life faith reasons.
- Requirements for permitted weddings in Metro Melbourne being that one or both of the two persons being married are:
- at the end of life; or
- will be deported from Australia unless the marriage takes place.
Regional Victoria – Stage 3 – Restricted Activity Directions
The Stage 3 Restricted Activity Directions for Regional Victoria are organised in a similar way to previous version.
Restricted Activity Directions for Regional Victoria are broadly similar to Stage 3 restrictions that have been previously in place across Victoria, and most recently in metropolitan Melbourne.
Signage, cleaning, record requirements that previously appeared within these directions now appear within the new Workplace Directions.
Regional Victoria – Stage 3 – Stay At Home Directions
With recommencement of Stage 3 restrictions in Regional Victoria, there has been a move back to ‘Stay at Home Directions’.
The ‘Stay Safe Directions’ directions that were previously in operation in Regional Victoria have been revoked.
Stay At Home directions for Regional Victoria are broadly similar to Stage 3 Stay At Home restrictions that have been previously in place across Victoria, and most recently in metropolitan Melbourne.
These directions implement the requirement that a person who ordinarily resides in Regional Victoria during the stay at home period must not leave the premises where the person ordinarily resides, other than for one or more of the reasons specified in:
(a) Necessary goods or services
(b) Care or other compassionate reasons
(c) Work or education
(d) Exercise or outdoor recreation
(e) Other specified reasons
If a person has more than one ordinary place of residence, the person must choose one of these residences to be their principal place of residence for the duration of the stay at home period.
A person may only visit any other ordinary place of residence for the purposes of work or education, to meet obligations in relation to shared parenting arrangements or family contact arrangements, for emergency maintenance, for emergency purposes, or as otherwise required or authorised by law.
It also includes requirements related to face covering.