Former Victoria Prime Minister Jeff Kennett said Victoria was quickly becoming “Australia’s sinkhole” as the people fought for their fourth lockdown since last year.
Victoria was placed in a seven-day statewide lockdown last Friday amid a growing cluster of Covid-19 cases in Melbourne.
Mr Kennett said many lockdowns meant the state’s economy was starting to lag behind other states and territories.
“Victoria is very quickly becoming the bottomless pit of Australia, where our economy is contracting,” he told Sky News this week.
“This is not the first or the second foreclosure, this is the fourth and many businesses will not survive.”
Figures from the city of Melbourne revealed that last year’s pandemic caused a 22% drop in economic output in the state with 75,000 jobs cut.
Mr Kennett said the reality was incredibly sad.
“We are losing population to other states, and we haven’t even learned enough from previous lockdowns how to put in place the resources to handle this fourth lockdown,” Kennett said.
“You can destroy a house in a day, but it takes months or years to replace it.
“It will take us years in Victoria to overcome the damage.”
The Victorian government this week announced a $ 250 million business support program throughout the current foreclosure, with grants available to around 90,000 businesses across the state.
Acting Prime Minister James Merlino said it would help companies pay the bills and maintain their workforce.
“This supports the businesses that have been hit hardest by the circuit breaker lockout,” Mr. Merlino said.
“This is a bigger and wider package than the one we delivered via the lockout, the breaker lockout, in February.”