Gippsland small business operators have been left devastated by Daniel Andrews’ roadmap out of his coronavirus crisis.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said regional Victoria was promised a plan which would re-start our lives and economy, instead the Premier manufactured a road block.
“Instead of delivering hope, Daniel Andrews announced further restrictions on regional small businesses, unnecessarily punishing hardworking Gippsland business owners,” said Ms Bath.
“Restricting Gippsland hospitality and personal services business and forcing them in-line with Melbourne is unbalanced and unjust.
“These restrictions have little to do with sound scientific data.
“This is Daniel Andrews’ ‘one size fits all’ policy, which demonstrates a lack of care and compassion for our country communities and regional Victoria’s economy.
“Gippsland small businesses should be able to open and trade with COVID safe plans, instead business owners and their employees are at their wits end.
“So many business people have contacted my office, completely guttered after learning Daniel Andrews’ roadmap has unfairly stripped them of their livelihood and hope.”
Ms Bath said she is calling on the Premier to seriously rethink his plan and allow locals to support local businesses safely.
“Gippslanders have played their part in supressing the virus, they deserve to be rewarded for their effort and sacrifices,” said Ms Bath.
“It’s unfair that a Gippsland café cannot provide a seated service or a beautician cater for clients until metropolitan Melbourne has zero new cases.
“On the state government’s own scientific advice, the vast majority for Gippsland should be on the last step of Labor’s plan as they have had no new cases.
“Daniel Andrews’ roadmap will kill jobs, businesses and regional economies.”
Ms Bath said throughout the pandemic, country Victorians have shown that we are flexible, adaptable and responsible when it comes to working to keep each other safe, but businesses and jobs are being lost, lives are being devastated.
“The human cost and economic damage inflicted by the state government’s road map is unfathomable,” said Ms Bath.
“The Andrews Government must allow small businesses to move to the ‘Last Step’ based on regions, rather than lumping them in with Melbourne and state-wide restrictions.”