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McLeish calls for rezone

State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish has thrown her support behind the removal of parts of the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik Shires under Stage 4 restrictions from Metropolitan Melbourne and asked the Premier in parliament if he will do the same.

Ms McLeish said, “I asked the Premier directly if he will support those living in the non-urban areas of the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik councils, unfairly swept into the metropolitan classification for COVID-19 restrictions, and re-classify them as regional not metropolitan.”

“I have been contacted by so many frustrated locals living in these areas, arguing that the they should be classified as regional.”

“Residents in these areas consider that they live in the country & overwhelmingly they want the Premier to treat them the same as rural and regional Victorians when it comes to Covid restrictions.”

As a way of convenience rather than transmission risk, the State Labor Government chose to follow bureaucratic boundary lines instead of placing locations under stage 4 lockdown via active COVID-19 case count.

The Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik and are very different to Metro Melbourne. The Yarra Valley does not have trainlines past Lilydale or mass amounts of public transport. Shops aren’t commonly within a 5km radius of homes. People aren’t living on top of one another and can easily go for a lengthy walk without passing anyone else. It does not make logical sense to place these locations in the same category.

Parts of Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik Councils are very much rural – people live on farms, large blocks, in small towns and hamlets. Many are involved in agriculture and horticulture & fight pests such as deer and foxes – the same as those living in regional Victoria. Mail delivery is a challenge and non-existent in places. Many communities are over 60 or even 80Km from the CBD.

Ms McLeish continues, “People are sick of being lumped with Metropolitan Melbourne and punished with stage 4 restrictions when we have very little, if any active COVID-19 cases in Yarra Valley suburbs.”

“The city centric State Labor Government did not consider how stage 4 restrictions would affect suburbs on the outskirts of Yarra Ranges,” Ms McLeish concludes.

Under Parliamentary rules the Premier has 30 days to respond to Ms McLeish’s question.


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