Liberal Party’s ‘Recover, Rebuild’ plan: taxes, lockdowns, elective surgery

Unlike Matthew Guy’s 2018 campaign that lead to an election thumping the Victorian Opposition Leader plans to focus on health, education, cost of living and small business.

Matthew Guy has promised Victorians no new taxes, shorter surgery waiting lists, and no more lockdowns if elected to government in November.

Victoria’s new pandemic legislation would also be repealed, state of emergency powers wound back and a Royal Commission into Victoria’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic established.

The Victorian Opposition Leader will on Sunday unveil a raft of major policies as part of his plan to drive Victoria’s recovery out of the pandemic.

Unlike his 2018 campaign, that saw a focus on law and order lead to an election thumping; health, mental health, education, cost of living and small business are at the centre of Mr Guy’s Recover, Rebuild plan.

He said Victoria had fallen behind following two years of lockdowns and decades of mismanagement, neglect and waste.

One thousand Victorians a week were being added to a waitlist for vital surgery, and a mental health crisis loomed for the state’s youth after two years of disrupted school terms.

Mr Guy also hit out at the 40 new state government taxes introduced since Daniel Andrews swept to power in 2014.

“The Victorian Liberals and Nationals have a plan to recover, rebuild and make Victoria number one again,” he said.

“Our plan will deliver real solutions to the problems holding Victoria back.

“We will keep families together, people in work, schools and businesses open, halve hospital wait lists and fix the mental health crisis,” he said.

The policy platform will be launched at a campaign event in Geelong.

Under the plan Mr Guy guaranteed no new taxes and vowed to commission an independent audit of all capital projects over the value of $100 million.

He has committed $3.5 billion to boost manufacturing and said he would establish a new task-force to help the events industry recover.

Surgery waiting lists would be halved in his first term, and IVF treatment would never again be placed on hold.

Last month the government backflipped on a decision to ban IVF services in response to the growing number of Covid cases, prompting an apology from Daniel Andrews for “any distress” caused.

Mr Guy slammed the move saying the ban was a direct consequence of under-investment and failure to manage the health system.

He also vowed to fix the mental health crisis, but has not yet detailed how much money he would inject into the system.

Mr Andrews has committed more than $3.8 billion to overhaul the mental health system, which will be controversially funded by a new levy targeting the state’s top companies.

In schools, Mr Guy said he would deliver a face-to-face learning guarantee, and ensure there was a mental health practitioner in every Victorian primary and secondary school.

“Victorians have a choice: a new plan that supports communities recover, rebuild and get back on track or more of the same old mismanagement, waste and corruption that has got us in this mess in the first place,” he said.

Nationals leader Peter Walsh said the coalition plan put Victorians first.

“Two years of isolation has crushed the mental wellbeing of all Victorians, especially our kids, while hundreds of thousands of Victorians lost their job from State Labor’s failed pandemic management,” he said.

“Our positive plan puts Victorians first, with action to slash hospital and surgery waitlists, create new career paths by bringing manufacturing back to Victoria and better supporting our kids with more mental health practitioners in our schools.

“Making sure regional communities get our fair share will be crucial to putting our whole state on the path to recover and rebuild.”

Originally published as Liberal Party’s ‘Recover, Rebuild’ plan: No new taxes, shorter surgery waiting lists, and no more lockdowns

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