A CHANGE to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria means grandparents can no longer babysit children of non-essential workers.
Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan has labelled the rule "insane" and says families will be left with choosing to break the law or keep their jobs.
"We know that there is a whole raft of people forced to be working from home," he said.
"A really chronic example is the young mum who is at home as a counsellor who requires time spent on the phone for a very long period of time having to engage with someone who is in quite a crisis.
"Now if you're one of those workers you have been able to make arrangements with family who will come in, particularly if you've got little ones, so that you can do your job properly, this now stops you doing that. Only authorised workers and only children who the state determines as vulnerable... are the parents who can use grandparents.
"Now that is outrageous, particularly in regional Victoria.
"There is no benefit, all it does it makes people's lives harder."
Mr Riordan said he had been inundated with parents and grandparents affected by the changes which were brought in at 11.59pm last Thursday.
He said he knew of plenty of grandparents travelling from regional Victoria to Melbourne to assist in caring for young children while parents worked from home.
"The feedback I'm getting is most grandparents are saying 'get stuffed, I'm going to support my kid and I'm going to support my grandkids'," he said.
"And as a member of parliament my first point is laws should always be respected and if they're silly laws we work to change them, our parliament is closed we can't advocate for them.
"I haven't seen many ads on the telly saying grandparents they aren't allowed, they've snuck this in.
"This is a law that will be used against people at the discretion of the enforcement agencies and look I know here in country Victoria... I know there are grandparents who have gone to Melbourne to their son or daughter in quite confined spaces to help look after the little one because they can't go to the playground, they can't do anything.
"Little kids are getting bored witless and people have to keep their job.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"A bizarre exception is if you've got an intimate partner. Your intimate partner can be in a hot spot in Melbourne and travel to Swan Hill to have an intimate partner weekend - that's legal.
"But grandma and grandpa who are being really good, staying at home, haven't been out, all they've done is help their son or daughter and grandkids and they aren't allowed to anymore. I mean that is just insane."
At a press conference last week COVID Response Commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the rule changes.
"We know that for many people if your nan looks after your kid, every Tuesday, that's a normal thing, you may regard that as part of your normal household activity and that's OK," he said.
"At this point in time it's not and that really sucks.
"But we're trying to do everything we can to reduce this contact now, because those cases we're talking about on the west, it could happen in any other part of our city, continue to be fuelled by those by those small little exchanges where the virus finds a way through into another grouping, another set of targets."
Mr Riordan said the laws were being made by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton without any scrutiny from parliament and it was "wrong."
"People are choosing to use civil disobedience... and that's the sign of a bad law," he said. "If people are being forced to ignore the law then that's a bad law and it needs something done and it needs to be done immediately.
"Brett Sutton is making these laws, they are not going to the parliament, they're not being approved by the cabinet, this is what happens under a state of emergency and it's wrong."
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