Dan Andrews’ COVID shambles has made Victoria a national joke
Welcome to Melbourne where we are no longer the nation's sporting capital; instead we're the coronavirus capital.
There will be many people across the country having a damn good laugh at the words which came from pompous Labor Premier Daniel Andrews' mouth last week.
"I don't want to be offensive to South Australians but why would you want to go there?" he said.
Well, why on Earth would they want to come to Victoria?
The stringent rules in the Socialist Republic of Victoria have come crashing down despite Andrews making headlines for enforcing some of the toughest restrictions in the country.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also strongly discouraged travel to and from Victoria, including Melbourne.
But many Victorians stopped listening to their premier ever since the Black Lives Matter protest on June 6.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Restrictions were starting to ease but the vision of 10,000 people breaking the rules streaming through the streets of Melbourne caused an uproar.
And how many people were fined? You can count them on one hand. Just three.
For the majority of Victorians who had for months abided the rules this selfish act made the whole COVID-19 crisis appear farcical.
Unlike Ms Berejiklian, who took action to try and stop the same protest going ahead in her state but failed, Mr Andrews did nothing but send a weak warning to protesters not to go.
In the lead-up to the event he said: "I'm not going to the protest. I would suggest to other people they shouldn't go to the protest either.
"I understand the depth of the feeling on this issue but I might make the point this way, enough people have been hurt."
This critical point was when many Victorians stopped listening to the messaging from Andrews.
Clearly it was double standards - rules for law-abiding citizens and rules for unruly protesters.
There's no doubt in recent weeks Victoria's COVID-19 rule book has become a dog's breakfast.
Victorians are confused by the restrictions; how many people can you have at your home? It was 20, now it's five.
How many people can pubs, clubs, restaurants, etc have? It was going to be up to 50 but now it's 20.
Can you go on holidays? Well the government said in a press release yesterday "don't visit friends and family, don't go on holiday".
But at a press conference we were told regional travel is fine.
And we've been warned in the state's COVID-19 hotspots that the cops are coming knocking.
Victoria has an unemployment rate sitting at 6.9 per cent and about 127,000 Victorians lost their jobs last month.
Many businesses won't survive this pandemic.
Pubs and restaurants were about to ramp up trading this week given the anticipated increases to patron numbers, but less than 48 hours before this was due to change the rules were reversed.
And watching recent press conferences and listening to the Labor Premier wielding his authority, alongside Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, it's clear these bureaucrats live in a bubble.
Days on and days off seem to be extremely important.
At Saturday's press conference both Andrews and Prof Sutton explained that it was actually Prof Sutton's day off despite him fronting up at the press conference.
This justification came after the medico was quizzed about a breaking story about Essendon AFL player Conor McKenna contracting the virus which at that point Prof Sutton didn't yet know about.
Who really is interested in knowing whether Prof Sutton is filling out a time sheet or not at the end of the day while collecting a six-digit salary?
Victorians care about their livelihoods and when their lives can return to normal, not whether these public servants are working or not working.
I get it these bosses need days off - it's been months of pain for everyone involved - but if that's the case then they shouldn't be standing up at a briefing declaring they are technically on a day off.
During the press conference Andrews then interjected and said, "I have called him (Sutton) back from his day off."
Many people were angry when Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on holiday in Hawaii during the bushfires.
But he certainly wasn't doing press conferences from overseas declaring he was on leave.
If it was Prof Sutton's day off, perhaps Dr Annaliese van Diemen - the deputy who was disciplined about her behaviour after her controversial tweet about Captain Cook's arrival that she believes decimated populations and created terror - could have stepped in.
Just last week we had the leader of the government in the Victorian upper house, Jaclyn Symes, telling colleagues she didn't want to come back to parliament earlier than August because she needed to give her kids' nanny a break. Seriously.
Try explaining this to hardworking Victorians who have lost their jobs and livelihoods and can't afford the luxury of a paid helper.
This shows how out of touch our bureaucrats and politicians are.
Originally published as Dan Andrews' COVID shambles has made Victoria a national joke