The Nationals new plan for Gippsland’s COVID recovery

A bold, positive plan to set Victoria on the path to recovery from devastating COVID-19 shutdowns has been endorsed by The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath.

The new plan is focused on four critical pillars for recovery that will help Victorians to secure their family finances, rebuild local business, invest in health and education, and support our communities.

Ms Bath said our regional communities can’t afford to wait months or years to get back on track.

“Gippslanders have done the hard yards throughout both shutdowns and as case numbers are now low state wide and zero in Gippsland, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for a safe pathway to COVID normal,” said Ms Bath.

Speaking at the Gippsland launch of the plan this week in Moe with Safetech Director David Wakefield, Ms Bath said locals have made it clear that they want the state government to support the community by prioritising home-grown jobs.

“Regional Victoria is the backbone of the Victorian economy and our industries and people can play a pivotal role in the state’s recovery,” said Ms Bath.

“To date, the Andrews Labor Government has failed to deliver real support to small business, sole traders, and hundreds of thousands of Victorian workers who have lost jobs due to no fault of their own – let alone provide a blueprint for Victoria’s recovery.”

Measures to rebuild key sectors in Victoria in the Back to Work, Back in Business plan include a $10 million agriculture supply chain fund, a $250 million fund to support decentralisation by helping businesses to implement work from home opportunities and a $300 million fund to restore regional tourism.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said the devastation of the second wave after the Melbourne hotel quarantine debacle had ripped the soul out of regional communities.

“Country Victoria is the engine room of the state and injecting life into our small businesses, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors will help set our state on the path to recovery,” Mr Walsh said.

“But each time Daniel Andrews fronts up to the media, he’s failed to announce a plan to get our country communities – where there’s little to no active cases – back on track.

“The plan The Nationals have put forward today is focused on solutions that will set us all on a safe path to COVID normal.”

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