Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell has called out the Queensland Government’s warning that Mitchell and Macedon Ranges areas are COVID-19 hotspots, saying it is causing ‘unnecessary harm’.
The government listed several local government areas to be avoided, which Mr Mitchell said caused unnecessary harm to struggling regional economies and dashed the hopes of the region’s families who hoped to travel to Queensland during school holidays.
Mr Mitchell said the decision by the Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young to list the shires of Mitchell, Macedon Ranges, Nillumbik and Murrindindi as part of 36 Victorian councils as hotspots was baseless and hurtful.
Mitchell and Macedon have recorded 14 and nine cases, respectively, of COVID-19.
Queensland’s list of declared Victorian hotspots was updated on June 21, directing anyone who has travelled to or lived in the listed areas that they must self-quarantine for 14 days on re-entering Queensland.
“It’s an extraordinary announcement which is not based on facts and really just helps spread unnecessary fear and anxiety,” Mr Mitchell said.
“It comes at a time when school holidays in both Queensland and Victoria are about to start and families may have been planning to visit friends and other relatives here, boosting our local economies.
“I have already had calls from distressed residents in our area who had planned to travel to Queensland to see their grandchildren but now feel angry and locked out for no good reason.
“As well, there are many businesses right across these shires that rely on tourism and are just hanging by a thread.
Mr Mitchell said he had contacted the Victorian and Queensland governments to have information corrected about the true health status of the local government areas.