Frydenberg calls on Daniel Andrews told pick up pace and match NSW road map

Courtney GouldNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Josh Frydenberg has doubled down on calls for Daniel Andrews to speed up his state’s reopening plan despite millions of Melburnians celebrating their release from lockdown today.

The end of Victoria’s sixth, and hopefully final lockdown, was met with widespread celebration at midnight on Thursday.

The Treasurer has repeatedly criticised the pace of the Victorian government’s road map out of lockdown, and on Friday morning again called for Mr Andrews to pick up the pace.

“Why doesn't Victoria have the same freedoms that people of NSW have had?” he told the Today Show.

“The freedoms that have been given in Victoria is, of course, for celebration but we don't want to look back. We want to look forward. We want to stay open.”

Camera IconJosh Frydenberg has taken aim at Daniel Andrews once again. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

From Friday, Victorians will be able to welcome up to 10 guests into their homes and hospitality venues will open to up to 20 patrons indoors and 50 outside.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said while it is a good day for Melbourne, there was still “a long way to go”.

“It has been a long, slow crawl to freedom. Still a long way to go,” he told the Today Show.

“It is a good step but it has been marked with a lot of inconsistencies and strange, arbitrary decisions on the way through. A lot of businesses still are not able to open.

Camera IconDaniel Andrews has previously told Josh Frydenberg to stay in his own lane. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

The short, sharp seven-day lockdown turned into a 70-day lockdown. Hopefully this will be the end of it.”

But Mr Frydenberg said businesses needed a greater level of certainty that their doors will remain open.

“We can't have stop-start lockdowns. That is just going to be a recipe for more jobs being lost,” he said.

“So it is really important that once we reopen we don‘t turn back. We need to be going forward.

“And that is my message to the government of Victoria and, indeed, that is the same message I would provide to any State Government across the country.”

The Treasurer and Premier have been at loggerheads for much of the pandemic. Mr Andrews on Monday told Mr Frydenberg to keep his criticism to himself.

“I would just say to Josh: ‘This is not about you and your breathless political rants don't work against this virus,’” Mr Andrews said.

“His endless criticism and negativity, I just don't think it goes down very well in Victoria because it doesn’t work against this virus. So, I will say no more about him.”

Pellegrini's Re-Opening
Camera IconFriday marks the end of the world’s longest lockdown. Mark Stewart Credit: News Corp Australia

Asked if he should be criticising the road map on a day that should be considered a celebration, Mr Frydenberg took a step back from his criticism and recognised the significance of the end of the lockdown.

“Is it the day for that? This is a day of celebration,” 3AW host Neil Mitchell asked.

“Well, firstly today is a day for celebration. I was just answering your particular question about the details of difference, ” Mr Frydenberg responded.

“Today is a positive play today is a welcomed day. Today's the day that all Victorians have been waiting for.”

But will the Treasurer and Premier put their differences aside to celebrate freedom day?

“I'm sure he’ll have colleagues to drink with and so will I,” Mr Frydenberg told 3AW.

Originally published as Frydenberg calls on Daniel Andrews told pick up pace and match NSW road map

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