Covid-19 Australia: Melbourne exodus Jeff Kennett’s epic slam on Victoria Premier Dan Andrews

Fed up of Victorians fleeing the state in a mass exodus to escape the Covid woes caused by Dan Andrews, says former Prime Minister Jeff Kennett.

The latest population figures show that more than 12,700 tired locals have dumped Victoria to move to other states in Australia since the pandemic began.

By September last year – halfway through Melbourne’s second lockdown – the state’s entire population had fallen by 16,500.

“People don’t want to be a part of it and are moving north,” Kennett told the Daily Mail Australia. “Victorians are starting to leave the state.

“They don’t want to be associated with the risks that come from this autocratic leadership style.

Fed up of Victorians fleeing the state in a mass exodus to escape the Covid woes caused by Dan Andrews, says former Prime Minister Jeff Kennett.  (Pictured, an anti-lockdown protester in Melbourne)

Fed up of Victorians fleeing the state in a mass exodus to escape the Covid woes caused by Dan Andrews, says former Prime Minister Jeff Kennett. (Pictured, an anti-lockdown protester in Melbourne)

Jeff Kennett warned that time was now running out for Dan Andrews (pictured), saying he was baffled by the Labor leader's political strategy.

Jeff Kennett warned that time was now running out for Dan Andrews (pictured), saying he was baffled by the Labor leader's political strategy.

Jeff Kennett warned that time was now running out for Dan Andrews (pictured), saying he was baffled by the Labor leader’s political strategy.

“Having had a net inflow of population in Victoria for 30 years, we now have a net outflow.”

He warned that time was now running out for the man some called Dictator Dan, and said he was baffled by the Labor leader’s political strategy.

State elections are scheduled for November 2022, but he does not believe the prime minister will survive until then.

“There is no doubt that he will be kicked out in the next election – no doubt,” said Mr Kennett. “But I don’t think he’ll last that long. I’m not even sure he wants to stay.

Jeff Kennett said he couldn't understand why Mr. Andrews had pursued his Covid Zero fantasy at such a staggering cost to the state and locals.  (Pictured, school children protesting playground restrictions)

Jeff Kennett said he couldn't understand why Mr. Andrews had pursued his Covid Zero fantasy at such a staggering cost to the state and locals.  (Pictured, school children protesting playground restrictions)

Jeff Kennett said he couldn’t understand why Mr. Andrews had pursued his Covid Zero fantasy at such a staggering cost to the state and locals. (Pictured, school children protesting playground restrictions)

Jeff Kennett (pictured) suggested that Mr Andrews was disconnected from the reality of lockdown life because of the privileged lifestyle he was allowed to have as Victorian Prime Minister.

Jeff Kennett (pictured) suggested that Mr Andrews was disconnected from the reality of lockdown life because of the privileged lifestyle he was allowed to have as Victorian Prime Minister.

Jeff Kennett (pictured) suggested that Mr Andrews was disconnected from the reality of lockdown life because of the privileged lifestyle he was allowed to have as Victorian Prime Minister.

‘I don’t think anything will save him. By then it will be about the economy, not dealing with the pandemic – and the economy will be devastated for so many.”

Mr Kennett, 73, said he couldn’t understand why Mr Andrews had pursued his Covid Zero fantasy at such a staggering cost to the state and locals.

But he suggested that Mr Andrews was disconnected from the reality of lockdown life because of the privileged lifestyle he was allowed to have as Victorian Prime Minister.

“I have no idea why anyone would be so disrespectful to the entire community,” he said.

“In part, I think it’s because he’s well paid. He has a good family around him. His children are not in primary school, he has a new house, he feels at ease.’

But he said many of the people in Victoria he was supposed to lead were having a really hard time in comparison.

“Their children may no longer have access to education and the social activities that come with being in school,” he said.

Jeff Kennett chided Dan Andrews for imposing his will on everyone around him and warned the consequences would be 'devastating' (pictured, police riot police officers at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne)

Jeff Kennett chided Dan Andrews for imposing his will on everyone around him and warned the consequences would be 'devastating' (pictured, police riot police officers at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne)

Jeff Kennett chided Dan Andrews for imposing his will on everyone around him and warned the consequences would be ‘devastating’ (pictured, police riot police officers at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne)

‘If they are grandparents in recent years, they no longer have access to their family and grandchildren.

‘If they are companies – small or medium-sized – they are locked up and many are closed.

“So it’s despite the community that he continues on this path.”

The prime minister warned on Tuesday that he would continue to target zero Covid cases ahead of an expected extension of the current lockdown, the state’s sixth.

He vowed to do whatever it took to achieve it, despite criticism — allegedly even from his own advisers — as the vaccine rollout continued.

And Mr Andrews warned that the alternative was the number of cases quickly spiraling out of control.

Jeff Kennett (pictured center) warned that Dan Andrews (left) had killed small businesses expected to foot the bill for increased government spending

Jeff Kennett (pictured center) warned that Dan Andrews (left) had killed small businesses expected to foot the bill for increased government spending

Jeff Kennett (pictured center) warned that Dan Andrews (left) had killed small businesses expected to foot the bill for increased government spending

But Mr Kennett criticized Mr Andrews for imposing his will on everyone around him and warned the consequences would be “devastating”.

“I don’t know what goes on in someone’s brain — especially when you’re the leader of a state — that you refuse to be consultative,” he said.

“That you refuse to admit how much damage your leadership style has done. No other government in Australia, in my memory, has ever been so authoritarian and inflicted so much damage on its community.

“That takes years to fix. We’ve been dealing with this particular pandemic for nearly two years now, and the Prime Minister has not changed one iota his goal of zero new cases.”

Mr Kennett said Mr Andrews had strengthened his base by increasing the number of government officials, securing their jobs and giving them a pay rise.

Jeff Kennett said the cost of Mr Andrews Covid Zero target would be a burden on the state for generations to come.  (Pictured, vacant shops on Melbourne's Chapel Street)

Jeff Kennett said the cost of Mr Andrews Covid Zero target would be a burden on the state for generations to come.  (Pictured, vacant shops on Melbourne's Chapel Street)

Jeff Kennett said the cost of Mr. Andrews Covid Zero target would be a burden on the state for generations to come. (Pictured, vacant shops on Melbourne’s Chapel Street)

But he warned that in the process Mr Andrews had killed small businesses that were expected to foot the bill for the increased government spending.

“Not only is there mounting anger, but many are realizing that what the prime minister is pursuing is unrealistic and indefensible,” he said.

“Victorians have paid the highest price not only of any other state in Australia, but possibly in the world where they have faced this pandemic.

“Its effects on the social fabric and economic condition of the state are now really starting to affect the community as a whole.

Jeff Kennett predicted that Prime Minister Dan Andrews (pictured) will be abandoned by his lieutenants on the front bench of the state in the next election, awaiting political extermination

Jeff Kennett predicted that Prime Minister Dan Andrews (pictured) will be abandoned by his lieutenants on the front bench of the state in the next election, awaiting political extermination

Jeff Kennett predicted that Prime Minister Dan Andrews (pictured) will be abandoned by his lieutenants on the front bench of the state in the next election, awaiting political extermination

“The debt generated by the government over the past three years will be a burden that future generations – our children and grandchildren – will have to pay.

“He continues to ignore the reality of what is happening in the society he leads.”

Kennett predicted that in the next election, the prime minister will be abandoned by his lieutenants in the front seat of the state, awaiting political extermination.

He added: “They are tired, they are exhausted, and the pendulum, which is always swinging politically, will deal a devastating blow to this style of leadership.”

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