Australia Covid live update: Sydney lockdown to be extended, massive testing queues at Fairfield
In case you needed a refresher on what the Victorian government actually said that has annoyed Frydenberg so much, you can check out the fantastic Sarah Martin’s story below.
Here is a bit of the statement a spokesperson for the Victorian government released last night.
Everyone in Australia believes people in Sydney and NSW deserve every possible support as they battle a second wave and a long lockdown…
But Victorians are rightly sick and tired of having to beg for every scrap of support from the federal government. It shouldn’t take a crisis in Sydney for the prime minister to take action but we are seeing the same double standard time and time again. His job is not to be the prime minister for NSW.
The federal treasurer is laying out the different stages of support states will receive from the Commonwealth during lockdowns.
So it goes in different stages.
In the first week, we don’t provide support, and we didn’t provide support in New South Wales. Neither did we in Victoria.
In the second week, we provide that disaster payment, and then in the third week, we removed the liquid assets test* and now in the fourth and beyond, we provide a 50/50 split on the business support payments, as well as extend that individual income support for households and families from $500 to $600.
*This “liquid assets test” is the rule that you are not eligible for the support payments if you have more than $10,000 in the bank.
Well I hope your listeners, look at the facts, not the politicking that’s coming out of Victoria.
Because the facts are very clear. We provided Victoria with more support on a per capita basis than any other state, when they went into their extended lockdown last year – that’s when jobkeeper was still in place …
New South Wales is going through an extended lockdown. They’re now going into its fourth week, it could go for longer.
Victoria’s lockdown went for two weeks, and so the actual support is of a different nature because the lockdown is for a longer period …
The support that New South Wales needs and receives is actually in the national interest. If New South Wales can get on top of this virus and this outbreak, then that will be to the benefit of the national economy, something, and I think that the Victorians indeed will accept themselves.
I mentioned before that the NSW state and federal governments had come together to create a financial support package to help Sydneysiders survive this extended lockdown.
But others, including the Victorian government, have been quick to criticise the program as inferior to jobkeeper, and an example of favouritism to NSW, after the federal government was significantly less forthcoming when Victoria was in lockdown earlier in the year.
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg is speaking on ABC radio now, and has called the Victorian government’s comments “petulant” and “childish”:
Well, the Victorian government unfortunately is being petulant, childish and they are playing politics here because the facts tell a very clear story. What we have done in the New South Wales lockdown is exactly what Victoria received Victoria when they went into their extended lockdown last year.*
They received more than $7m a week from the commonwealth government and jobkeeper and have received more on a per capita basis than any other state.
We offered the Victorian government a fifty-fifty split when it came to business and income support, they rejected it and they were too smart by half.
*But not their two-week lockdown earlier this year.
The mayor of Fairfield, Frank Carbone, is calling for the state government to urgently set up more testing locations in his council area, noting that people have in the lines have been forced to wait upwards of six hours and suggesting that local residents have effectively been barricaded into their homes, with roads gridlocked with cars:
We support more testing but adequate resources need to be put in place, today has been a terrible experience with a 6-hour wait and the NSW government needs to put more testing sites across Fairfield.
Endeavour reserve testing clinic has blocked all of The Boulevard, Avenell St and every other road leading into the Park for kilometres, crossing over into Hamilton Road.
These poor residents who need to go to work tomorrow are having to wait hours due to the new testing rules that apply to Fairfield residents who are required to get tested every 3 days if they work outside our area.
Stay safe everyone and best to get tested tomorrow.
Speaking of extreme queues, here is the line outside the Fairfield testing hub in the wee hours of the morning:
Good morning, it’s Matilda Boseley here with you, and welcome to Wednesday.
It’s a tense wait this morning in NSW with the premier expected to announce an extension to the greater Sydney lockdown, but it’s not clear how long this extension is likely to last.
The state recorded 89 new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after 112 on Monday and 77 on Sunday. Twenty-seven of the positive cases announced on Tuesday were not in isolation for all or part of their infectious period, with authorities desperate to get this number as close to zero as possible.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been warning for several days that the lockdown is extremely likely to be extended, but this was all but confirmed yesterday when the state and the federal government came together to announce a significant lockdown financial support package that’s calculated to last at least several weeks.
The state government expanded its business grants and either cut or deferred payroll taxes for most companies, while workers who have lost eight or more hours a week as a result of the lockdown will be able to apply for up to $600 a week in federal support.
Each day it seems the attention of NSW Health focuses more and more on the city’s south-west, where case numbers continue to grow.
As of today, anyone living in the Fairfield local government area but performing essential work in the wider city must be tested every three days, while anyone from greater Sydney travelling to the regions for work must be tested weekly.
This has caused colossal lines outside testing clinics in Fairfield. Here’s a look at the Fairfield showgrounds yesterday afternoon:
With that, why don’t we jump into the day. There is certainly enough to get through.
If there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley.