27 October 2020

I would like to thank the people of Victoria. Last week in this place, my friend and colleague the member for Gellibrand, Mr Tim Watts, explained, 'It's been hard to be a Victorian in the last few months, and, frankly, if you weren't there, you wouldn't know what it's like.' As a Western Australian, I don't know what it has been like for Victorians to endure this very difficult COVID lockdown, but I do know that they've achieved an incredible thing for this nation.

Together, Victorians have crushed the second wave of COVID-19 and, in the process, proven that it is far better to listen to the medical experts than the naysayers and the cranks. Frankly, I think that the Victorian people are heroes. I miss being able to go to Victoria, but not as much as Victorian people miss spending countless hours having coffees, beers and parmis, enjoying South Melbourne Market demonstrations and going to the footy. My lifelong friend Vanessa, who lives in Macleod and is a footy and racing tragic, sent me a text the other day. She can hardly believe she hasn't been to a game this season in 2020—it's unimaginable. And, with the TAB shut, she couldn't drop in a little bet on the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate.

In the grand scheme of bringing a global pandemic to a halt and lowering the tragic number of deaths in Victoria, and around the world for that matter, these are small sacrifices, but they remind those of us who haven't lived it how the little things add up and make it all so much harder. I thank the leadership of the Premier, Daniel Andrews. I thank my Victorian colleagues—those who are here and those who aren't here. But, most of all, I thank the millions of Victorians for simply enduring.