Premier, don’t ignore Latrobe Valley

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called out Premier Daniel Andrews for failing to acknowledge Latrobe Valley’s rising coronavirus cases.

Ms Bath said the community is understandably concerned by the rise in active cases in Traralgon and the potential consequences the Gippsland region.

“It is infuriating when the Premier issues a media statement outlining his concern for regional communities but fails to mention any area east of Melbourne.

As of Wednesday 12 August, Traralgon with a population of nearing 30,000 had 22 active cases, while Ballarat with over 100,000 residents had 19 active cases.

Ms Bath said many residents of Latrobe Valley are justifiably frustrated by the Premier’s public concern and strategies for other regional centres such Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, but has again left Latrobe Valley out in the cold.

“Traralgon has been experiencing increasing cases for over a week, with two clusters which will continue to play out for the next couple of weeks.”

Ms Bath said Gippslanders have done an outstanding job in slowing the spread of coronavirus but had been severely let down by Daniel Andrews bungled the hotel quarantine fiasco.

“The Andrews Government has failed to protect Gippsland from Melbourne’s second wave and it is disappointing the Premier has chosen to implement and highlight new supports available in other regional centres.

“Daniel Andrews claims he is the Premier for all of Victoria, therefore he must turn his head eastward and acknowledge the issues being faced by Latrobe Valley.”