On Wednesday, the paper published an editorial
headlined “Victoria can’t go on like this.
The piece condemned Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews and the Labor State
Government over its extension of harsh lockdown measures and a lack of
evidence to back them up.
The restrictions were maintained despite
officials conceding it was no longer possible to achieve zero cases in
the state – an ambitious pursuit championed by Andrews.
comes a point, and The Age believes that point has been reached, where
the damage caused by the harshest and longest lockdowns in the country
needs to be more seriously factored in,” the editorial reads.
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On social media, it immediately sparked a divide in the already
polarized Victoria between those supportive of the premier’s continued
lockdowns and those who have had enough.
The paper noted the
concessions that Andrews said would be made after reaching a 70%
vaccination rate, such as extending allowed travel distance to 10km from
5km, but implied they were not enough. “The night curfews remain in Melbourne, despite limited evidence they make a difference,” it added.
Mental health repercussions and damage to the young Victorians’ education were also at the heart of The Age’s appeal. “Enough,” they declared, imploring Andrews that the state “needs hope.”
more lectures about compliance. No more measures that have limited if
any evidence to back them just in case they might assist around the
It added that it was not arguing for a total end to restrictions, but that the government should “work out those that could be lifted at minimal risk to health but with maximum benefit to Victorians” and move towards a “more balanced position.”
“The state can no longer live like this,” the editorial concludes.
The statement resonated with many on social media who supported the paper’s stance, but others were quick to mock it.
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ABC journalist Leigh Sales praised the newspaper for its “strong” words and reiterated that “Victorians are past the point of endurance.”
Rowland, another ABC journalist, also showed his support, agreeing with
The Age’s criticism of what they claimed to be a “lack of proper information” coming from the state government.
One critic, however, said The Age should be behaving “more responsibly” and “supporting the measures” to keep Victoria safe. “We don’t have alternatives,” they said on Twitter.
Another person tweeted “F**K The Age” and followed up with the hashtag #f**ktheage, which was then retweeted by #Istandbydan followers.
supporters initiated a campaign to cancel the paper, despite the fact
that it has been rated by some media fact-checking agencies as
One person released a photo on Twitter with the phone number to call to cancel one’s subscription to the paper. “If you love Victoria, keep it beautiful and put rubbish like The Age in the bin,” they said.
Another, however, raged at the paper, which said it should be apologizing “for its own complicity in the madness” of harsh lockdowns in the first place.
August, the capital of Victoria, Melbourne, marked a total of 200 days
of lockdowns during 17 months since the pandemic began. Still in
lockdown, the state’s inhabitants found out this week that they will
remain under restrictions for at least another three weeks, despite
being told measures would end on Thursday.