Second lawsuit filed over Vic lockdowns

By AAP Newswire

A class action is the second lawsuit filed over Victoria's coronavirus restrictions, joining a challenge against Melbourne's lockdown curfew by an aspiring Liberal MP.

Mornington Peninsula cafe owner Michelle Loielo filed a suit in Victoria's Supreme Court on Tuesday, saying she has lost 99 per cent of her business under the state's stage four restrictions.

Second wave restrictions have been in place since July 2, but an 8pm to 5am curfew was introduced on August 2 and eased back to 9pm on Monday.

A class action, led by 21-year-old Jordan Roberts, was also filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking damages for lost income, nervous shock, depression and anxiety.

Ms Loielo's case was heard briefly by Justice Tim Ginnane on Wednedsay afternoon.

He has asked for written submissions and will decide on Tuesday whether he'll hear the case next week or pass it up the hierarchy to the Court of Appeal.

Ms Loielo, a widowed mother of three - who last month flagged plans to seek pre-selection for the Liberal Party - says the curfew violates her human rights.

She says her Capel Sound cafe used to bring in up to $20,000 a week but last week she made just $400, leaving her fearful of losing her house.

In a post on her restaurant website last month Ms Loielo said the "absolute beating" taken by the industry through the pandemic had pushed her further into politics and prompted her plans to run for Liberal Party pre-selection for the Nepean electorate.

While the Liberal Party isn't funding the lawsuit, Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien said they put Ms Loielo in touch with lawyers who are acting pro bono.

"I think there is every chance Daniel Andrews has acted illegally in locking down five million Victorians and that's why it's so important this case goes to court and is tested," Mr O'Brien said.

In a joint press conference with Mr O'Brien, Ms Loielo denied the lawsuit was politically motivated.

"The ultimate goal is to be able to stop at BP on the way home and grab my milk and bread like I used to," she said.

Mr Roberts is seeking damages in his suit, alleging defendants including ministers Jenny Mikakos and Martin Pakula breached a duty of care owed to the community through failures in the hotel quarantine program.

It was filed by Melbourne lawyer Tony Carbone, who told AAP more than 20 people are officially signed on but he expects the number to "swell enormously".

"A lot of employers speaking to me are keeping employees on artificially because of JobKeeper and the reality is when JobKeeper kicks out, I just think the number of people made redundant or retrenched will be horrendous," he said.

Mr Carbone is running separate class actions over coronavirus outbreaks at the St Basils and Epping Gardens aged care homes.