Michael Rowland is filling in for Leigh Sales on 7.30 tonight. He started his interview with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with a blunt question.

“Why is the Victorian government effectively pursuing a strategy that is close to eradication, when other states like New South Wales are getting by simply by suppressing the virus?” Rowland asked.

“Given the amount of community transmission, the amount of mystery cases that we have now and we’ve seen in Victoria, we need to get these numbers down to very low levels so that we can be confident that, when we open up in a safe and steady way, we can stay open,” Mr Andrews said.

“It is difficult to make comparisons with other states, because in many respects the circumstances we face, the challenge that we face, is very, very different.”

Following up on that, Rowland asked whether Mr Andrews was worried his state’s roadmap might be “too strict”.

“The Prime Minister made the point Sydney would also be under curfew under these arrangements,” he pointed out.

“I don’t think it would be,” Mr Andrews shot back.

“Sydney has not had the amount of community transmission we’ve had. I don’t think that’s a particularly valid comparison, and not a worthwhile one.

“We’re not in NSW. We have got a set of unique circumstances that apply to Victoria.

“In the last month, we’ve gone from 725 cases about a month ago to 41 cases today. So we are seeing very significant reductions in the number of people who have got this virus.

“The strategy’s working. But if you open up too much, too early, you don’t stay open for long Michael. That’s not what we want.”

More to come on that interview shortly.

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