Peter Khalil: To the people of Wills: I know you are frustrated, angry and hurting—I know, because I am too. My family and I in Pascoe Vale have lived through this long lockdown. We are all feeling it. There are days when you think, ‘Okay, we can do this,’ and days when you think, ‘I can’t take another day of this!’ For many people in my electorate, part of the early postcode lockdowns, it’s been even longer than 110 days. We are all over it.
I’ve spoken out about mistakes by state government, like hotel quarantine failures and the problems with contact tracing, and about federal government mistakes, like the lack of planning for aged care. And what happened to the COVIDSafe app that was supposed to help us open up safely? But I’ve done this because it’s about pushing for better public policy. In a global pandemic, it shouldn’t be about partisan politics. That is the last thing Melburnians need right now. We need national leadership, not political games.
Now is the time to acknowledge what we have achieved. Melburnians have done what has not been done anywhere else in the world: going from a peak of over 700 cases in July to zero today. We have done what many said would be impossible. We have done something truly remarkable. We deserve to be proud. But it has been incredibly difficult—the painful impact on every aspect of people’s lives. I expect that we will hear good news on reopening in the coming days. Today, we’ve zero cases. Be proud, Melbourne and Victoria. The steps towards [inaudible] and opening state borders will benefit the nation. Our thanks to you, the people of Victoria.