As Victoria welcomes the downward slope to its lockdown finish line, already you can hear the rumble of warnings gathering momentum.
It’s that car with a hole in the muffler slowing down just enough to take the corner, but you know in barely an instant, the pedal will hit the metal and the blurts will be louder than ever.
The Ballarat Courier, the voice of one regional centre which has seen an increase in active cases, reports the city seems to be getting on top of things – but that, too, prompts a peal of the warning bell.
A Federation University psychologist, Ashley Humphrey, said while it seemed restrictions were beginning to grate on some people, “there is a bit of light in the figures we’re seeing”.
“The longer this goes on and the potential it could go on for a while, the more normal habits and factors of isolation increase. The danger is also, the more and more people withdraw socially … We need to keep digging deep and continue to do these things we wouldn’t normally do with an understanding we will get through this at some point.”
Hang tough, Victoria.
Along with the roller coaster of emotions provided by the state’s daily numbers (just 113 new cases reported but 23 deaths) there was the news that the bid to extend Victoria’s state of emergency by 12 months is pretty much doomed. A six-month compromise now more likely.
Indirect to-ing and fro-ing continued between Mr Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the PM raised the proposed Foreign Relations bill which would allow the government to review and scrap state, territory, local council and public university deals with other nations. It wasn’t something Mr Andrews seemed to appreciate.
Elsewhere around the nation, thousands of prisoners in Queensland have been locked in their cells after a corrective services staff trainer tested positive to coronavirus; Tasmanians are being financially encouraged to holiday at home; and a survey found that Australians are rapidly losing trust in aged care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The trust factor also featured in two Indigenous deaths in custody after the findings of the respective coronial inquests – one into the death of Tane Chatfield in NSW and the other in Victoria involving Tanya Day – were handed down.
Uncle Lenny Clarke, an Indigenous leader from Victoria’s south-west, could have been speaking about both cases when he expressed the devastation such decisions wrought.
“This goes against the court, the people, social justice and what normally is a societal expectation,” he said. “It send the wrong message to the public and downgrades efforts to seek better relationships between Aboriginal and policing communities.”
There was no such disappointment in New Zealand when the gunman who shot and killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 last year was jailed for the rest of his natural life.
As victims in the public gallery sobbed, Justice Cameron Mander took the time to make a verbal tribute to every murdered and wounded person in his 118-minute sentence.
By Janine Graham | The Canberra Times | posted August 27 2020 | https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6899010/light-in-victorias-figures-and-relief-at-nz-sentencing/