If only there were something we could do: part 4000 Overnight Treasurer Josh Frydenberg shared with us "some heartfelt & heartbreaking letters I have received from members of my local community who have been doing it tough during the lockdowns". And of course no one would dispute that the mental well-being of many Victorians has taken a sprint at the nearest cliff during the 200-and-something days of lockdown split over the past two years. But Frydenberg's history with this is not good.
But the real sour taste this leaves is this: Frydenberg knows he could, with a stroke of a pen, improve the mental well-being of thousands of those in lockdown by resuming the kind of financial support that allows people to feed themselves and pay rent. Coincidence or not, when that support was in place last year, suicides decreased in Victoria, interminable lockdown and all.
A walk on the Burnside Former Clean Energy Finance Corporation chief executive Oliver Yates (also a former candidate for Frydenberg's seat of Kooyong) has a few thoughts on the handling of New South Wales' COVID disaster. It's an inside job: