GIPPSLAND tourism and hospitality venues will need state government financial support despite the easing of restrictions, says The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.
“In Parliament last night I asked the Minister for Industry Support and Recovery to ensure that regional businesses are not disadvantaged by the lifting of lockdown in regional areas where it means little change to the dire circumstances their business is facing,” Mr O’Brien said on Thursday.
“I have had a number from my electorate contact me with their concern that when the restrictions lift, they may lose access to government financial support but will be no better off in terms of incoming revenue.”
Mr O’Brien said the hospitality restrictions were ridiculous and would hurt pubs, clubs, restaurants and other businesses doing it very tough.
“The restrictions announced by the Premier will do little to assist many hospitality businesses for whom it will not be viable to open with the limit of just 10 patrons indoors and 20 outdoors,” he said.
“I acknowledge the Minister has foreshadowed further announcements with respect to these businesses including that the COVID-19 Disaster payment will still be available to staff who have lost work due to restrictions, even if lockdown is lifted.
“But the government must be prepared to continue to provide meaningful financial support for these businesses, for whom the lifting of lockdown in regional areas provides little to no comfort.”