That this House recognises that —

(1)   throughout the entirety of the pandemic, most parts of rural and regional Victoria have had very few or no COVID-19 cases, unlike in Melbourne;

(2)   the decisions by the Government and the Chief Health Officer to impose the same restrictions on metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas continues to generate unjustified, adverse impacts on rural and regional Victorians;

(3)   from as early as June 2020, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has very consistently maintained that different and flexible sets of restrictions should be applied across the State when there are clear contrasts between areas in case numbers and risk levels;

(4)   the near-constant enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions on all Victorians continues to create a host of other medical problems, as well as wide-ranging economic and social damage, including a substantial number of job losses and the downsizing or closure of many businesses especially in the tourism, hospitality, fitness, events and other retail industries;

(5)   the official Victorian action plan for pandemic influenza already in existence at the time of the advent of COVID-19 sensibly stresses the critical importance of minimising the social and economic impacts and consequences on communities of a pandemic;

and calls on the Government to cease enforcing repeated lockdowns, especially across vast areas of the State where these are not only disproportionate to the risk but are causing severe hardship, suffering and distress for growing numbers of Victorians.