Russell Crowe has declared his support for embattled premier Daniel Andrews.
The Oscar-winning Gladiator actor, who is worth an estimated $130million, said the Victoria leader was ‘doing a good job’ in a tweet on Thursday night.
His endorsement came after thousands of businesses were ordered to close their doors to slow the spread of coronavirus, putting up to 400,000 out of work and costing the national economy about $12billion.
‘You’re doing a good job Dan. It must feel like you are pushing the proverbial up a hill everyday,’ Crowe wrote.
‘Remember what they say, if you find yourself going through hell… Just keep going. Thank you for your continuous effort. You are saving lives. Just keep going.’
Reaction to the Tweet was mixed as some Victorians agreed that Mr Andrews was doing well while others said New Zealand-born Crowe, 56, was out of touch.
On Thursday Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the combined effect of stage three and four restrictions would reduce GDP by between $10billion and $12billion in the September quarter.
‘This is a heavy blow, a heavy blow,’ he said.
Some 80 per cent of that will be lost in Victoria while the remainder will be lost in other states due to confidence and supply chain impacts, Mr Morrison said.
Treasury expects that the stage four restrictions will put between 250,000 and 400,000 Victorians out of work.
As a result, the national unemployment rate is due to hit 10 per cent before December, higher than the previously predicted 9.25 per cent.
And the effective unemployment rate, which includes people not looking for work, will increase from 11 per cent to above 13 per cent.
Melbourne has been in stage-four lockdown since Sunday with schools shut, weddings banned, and citizens restricted to within a 5km radius of their homes.
Between 8pm and 5am, residents are only allowed to leave their house for work and essential health, care or safety reasons.
From Thursday, only essential businesses are allowed to open and workers must have permits to let them travel to work.
The state suffered its worst day of the COVID-19 outbreak on Wednesday, with 725 new cases and 15 deaths, including Australia’s youngest victim – a man in his 30s.
A total of 471 new cases and eight deaths were reported on Thursday.
The government has tweaked the JobKeeper eligibility requirements so an extra 740,000 Victorians can access the payment before Christmas.
In an interview with Sky News on Thursday, federal housing minister Michael Sukkar warned of ‘permanent damage’ caused by Melbourne’s fresh lockdown which has shut all non-essential businesses for six weeks.
Mr Sukkar also criticised the state government over the security failures which led to the virus spreading from infected travellers in hotel quarantine in June.
‘I think most Victorians understand that it’s not just bad luck that has led to Victoria being the only state to be in this position,’ he said.