Question without Notice – Covid-19 Fine Moe Small Business

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (12:42): My question is to the Minister for Small Business. In January this year Colli’s Hair Design had two authorised officers visit their Moe salon without identifying themselves or requesting to see the business’s COVID-safe plan. At the end of the inspection the owner, Mr Colli, asked the officers if there was anything that he could do to improve on, and in effect the officers replied, ‘No, everything is just fine. Keep doing what you’re doing’. To Mr Colli’s absolute horror, a fine rocked up in the mail of $13 631 shortly after the visit of the COVID officers. Minister, how is it fair that their small business was compliant, acted according to the coronavirus guidelines, which state that under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 a COVID-safe plan ‘must be kept’ on the premises and ‘must be available for inspection on request by WorkSafe or other authorised officers’.


Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (12:44): I thank the minister for her response. It has been very distressing for this small business that has been forced to shut down, forced to operate under COVID-safe practices and did so most willingly and then to have this on their shoulders. It has been very distressing, so I appreciate your following this up and I ask you to ensure that this fine is overturned.