Lisa Wilkinson quizzed Dan Andrews on his plan to provide greater mental health support as heartbroken Melburnians face extended lockdown restrictions.

As criticism towards the premier continues to swirl following Sunday's roadmap announcement, with Scott Morrison even describing the news as "crushing", Lisa Wilkinson has shifted the focus to another devastating impact of the pandemic: the wellbeing of locked-down Melburnians.

Speaking to Mr Andrews on the Sunday Project , Wilkinson asked: "How are you deciding the balance between the COVID health risk, and the mental health risk. Isn't there a real danger of the mental health cost of COVID leaving a much deeper scar for generations to come?"

Acknowledging the importance of strengthening mental health support, Mr Andrews said the government was working to "double and re-double" its efforts.

He added that it was "challenging", but the government was pleased with its partnerships in the field.

"There is more to do there, there is no question," he said, adding that he was aware many were experiencing mental health issues for the first time because of lockdown and the stress of the pandemic.

"That's why we monitor that situation closely, and listen to those in the mental health field. We have lots of partnerships and are very pleased to work with so many different people, whether it's Pat McGorry and Origin Youth Mental Health, the federal government, GPs.


He assured the panel that "across the board" the government was aware of the issue, but added that it was "very challenging".

A royal commission into mental health reports early next year.

"We've acknowledged that there are challenges in that system, many of them have been exposed in recent weeks and months," he said.

Melburnians, who are living under stage four restrictions - some of the toughest in the world - and regional Victorians, under stage three restrictions, today learned about the Government's long-awaited, four-step plan to ease toward a "COVID-safe normal".

The model will see the city of Melbourne's strict lockdown extended by two weeks until September 27, with some restrictions easing from midnight next Sunday.

Following the announcement, the federal government announced it will scrutinise Mr Andrews' handling of the pandemic, warning extensions to the lockdown will result in more job losses.

A joint statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt described the news as "crushing", and said it "will come at a further economic cost".

Full details of the roadmap are available here.

Originally published as Lisa stuns with tough virus question