Employment Minister Stuart Robert has defended Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s refusal to provide Victoria with extra economic support, claiming the decision was made to treat all Australians equally.

“We’ve got a process where a Commonwealth hotspot is declared, and then the first week is provided for by the state and, of course, after that the federal government is kicked in with the COVID disaster payments,” Mr Robert told Sky News Australia.

“It’s consistent, it’s fair right across all Australia and it’s been the way we’ve done the process since we began the new COVID disaster payments so that’s the treasurer’s rationale.

“We don’t have different groups of Australians; we have one Australia.

“We’ve got one approach, we’ve got one national plan on how we’re going to reopen and we’ve got one approach to vaccination and that is to encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can open up and not have to see these quite distressing scenes.”

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