The federal government has a moral responsibility to back Victoria, its industries and its citizens as the state endures its fourth coronavirus-inspired lockdown.
It's in Australia's best interests for Victoria to be back up and running as soon as possible.
Victoria is a manufacturing heavyweight and an economic powerhouse, and a federal government rebuttal to requests for financial assistance for struggling businesses and their employees would be a cruel blow.
Companies across the state have locked down for the collective good, and in accordance with the state of emergency that exists until December.
And if Victoria is allowed to linger behind in its eventual recovery, we will inadvertently drag the rest of the nation down as well.
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The Victorian government's own announcement of a pending assistance package for beleaguered businesses is welcome. We only hope that this is considered in line with whatever the commonwealth might provide.
Mixed messages from several federal ministers yesterday does little for the federal government's reputation or credibility, and undermines the public's confidence and trust.
Earlier in the day there were suggestions the federal government would not offer financial help because it does not want to set a precedent. Health Minister Greg Hunt deferred questions on support to the state government, and it was left to Defence Minister Peter Dutton to confirm the federal government would contribute if required.
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The precedent the government should be worried about setting is one that shows it does not care, or cares not enough, to help Australia's second most populous state at a time when help is needed.
That indecisiveness, almost apathy and a lack of direction or purpose has become a trademark of a government embroiled in one of the most challenging times in the modern era.
The federal government has worked best when it has been in conjunction with the states and around matters arising from the national cabinet meetings.
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