Well, to Victoria situation Victoria
suggests the premier, Daniel Andrews,has reached the point of no return.
The head of the premier's department,Chris Henckels, has this morning resigned.
He has given evidence to the quarantine
inquiry about the appointmentof private security guards.
Contrary to the truth, basically,he said he hadn't made phone calls
to the then police commissioner when,in fact, he had.
In the scheme of things, I have to say,it is no big deal relative to all else.
The former health minister whom Andrews
threw out of the bus has confirmedthat a breakdown in cabinet procedure
and governancewas the main cause for the hundreds
of deaths that have taken place becauseof the botched hotel quarantine program.
The former health minister,
Jenny McCarthy,has told the inquiry that the quarantine
program was set up in hasteand that responsibility for the design
and implementation was givento the Jobs Minister, Martin Pakula.
But lines of accountability said
the reporting was such that propercabinet process had been subverted.
And she told the inquiry cop this to treatMr Andrews evidence with caution.
Her political career seems finished unless
her version of events gainsfavour with the inquiry.
But it's clear the Labor Party in Victoriais mobilising against Daniel Andrews.
Mikakos may be gone.
It now seems she'll takeDaniel Andrews with them.
I have spoken relentlessly about thiswhole government approach to coronavirus.
I would have said more today exceptthat other matters have overtaken us.
But let me just say this.
The World Health Organisation is now
appealing to world leaders telling themto stop, quote, using lockdown's as your
primary control methodfor the coronavirus.
We at the World Health Organisation do not
advocate Lockdown's as the primarymeans of control of this virus.
What I've been saying that for months
and months, Melbourne's locked down is oneof the strictest and longest in the world.
But such as Melbourne,
we've got them everywherein the restaurant industry,
the wedding industry on the beach,going to the football.
There are lockdowns.
No one can justify the figures.
Why can twenty thousand go to a footballmatch if it is twenty thousand?
I've forgotten the numbers.The figures keep changing.
Why don't twenty five thousandif only one hundred and fifty can go
to a major event venuethat can cater a thousand?
Where does the figure onehundred and fifty come from?
If this economy is going to find its feet,lockdown's have to go now.
Now there is a thing calledthe Great Barrington Declaration.
It's a proposal written and signed
at the American Institutefor Economic Research in Great Barrington,
Massachusetts,on October four, eight days ago,
addressing the responseto this coronavirus.
And the declaration asserts
that Lockdown's have adverse effectson public physical and mental health
with a particular burdenfor the underprivileged,
and that the focus should instead beon shielding those most at risk
with fewer restrictions placedon the remainder of the population
in order to reduce the herdimmunity threshold.
This was authorised by distinguishedepidemiologists from Oxford University,
Stanford University and Harvardand cosigned by a stack of world
authorities, many of whom I've referredto on this program in the past.
So Netra Gupta from Oxford,Professor Bhattacharya from Stanford.
Professor Mountain cooled off
from Harvard, the Nobel Prizewinner, Michael Leavitt.
The list is impressive.
As of yesterday,the Great Barrington Declaration about
Lockdown's reportedthere were 340000 signatures.
The point is what I've been making
for months,the response in all this has lacked any
sense of proportion and we mustnow live with the consequences.
There is a global catastrophe, right?
Not in terms of death,but in terms of the response.
As my colleague Chris Kenny wrotesplendidly at the weekend, quote,
will not know whether we have blownthe pandemic response economically,
medically and sociallyuntil the worst of it's over.
Yet 10 months in early fears that we'veopted for expensive and damaging temporary
measures to stave off a permanentpest have only grown, he writes.
After a year of jobs axed, industry shut,schools closed, family separated,
events cancelled, travel preventedand communities crushed.
This week we saw the fiscalside of the equation.
It broke our budget deficit record,smashed Wayne Swan's 2009 and 2010 efforts
four times over, and notched up ourfirst trillion dollar debt forecast.
Well, may we argue,
as the distinguished Henry Ergas wrotelast week, the exaggerated perceptions
of this disease have causedus so much avoidable damage.