The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has sought to clarify the confusion around identity checks and visitor record keeping rules for regional businesses introduced this week by Daniel Andrews.
Ms Bath said the Premier’s record keeping directive is using small business to make up for his contact tracing system failures in Victoria.
Ms Bath raised the issue in State Parliament this week after being contacted by Latrobe Valley businesses confused by Daniel Andrews’ mixed messages around record keeping.
“On Sunday Daniel Andrews said customers must provide identification and leave contact details when seated.
“The Premier’s media release says, ‘businesses that are currently closed in Melbourne but are open in regional Victoria have been asked to check the addresses of their customers when taking bookings.’
“Business owners are confused that record keeping only applies to hospitality and personal services, but this is wrong.
“The Andrews Government rule is any person that spends longer than 15 minutes in a store or on the premises of any business must have their name and contact number recorded.
This week the Andrews Labor Government advised businesses who consciously fail to check their patrons are not from metropolitan Melbourne can face fines of up to $9913.
Ms Bath said the consequence of this rule means every applicable business in Gippsland that has people visit their premises for 15 minutes or longer must record and keep a log of names and phone numbers.
“The implications for non-essential regional businesses are enormous as they now have a responsibility to time keep and record browsing customers who spend longer than 15 minutes on their premises in regional Victoria. This extends to clothing stores, footwear stores, jewellery, gift stores, homewares and furniture and camping and fishing stores to name a few.
“The Andrews Labor Government is placing its responsibility for contact tracing squarely onto the shoulders of regional businesses.
“The onus should be on the wrong doer rather not our hardworking country retailers.
“Gippsland businesses have been through enough with drought, bushfire and COVID-19 seriously affecting their income and livelihoods, the last thing they need is to be held responsible for the Premier’s flawed contact tracing system,” said Ms Bath.