Adjournment – COVID-19

Mr D O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (5993)

My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Industry Support and Recovery and the action I seek is for the minister 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.

I am talking here particularly about tourism and hospitality businesses. For many accommodation providers, the lifting of lockdown in the regions will make almost no difference to their bookings because they rely significantly on corporate, business or international visitors from Melbourne, interstate or overseas. Some of those in tourism destinations may at least receive some bookings from regional visitors, but it will still be minimal.

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. These businesses must continue to get support.

Likewise, the restrictions announced today 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. Some of these businesses are limping through with takeaway and will have been devastated that today’s announcement won’t allow them to return to anything like a profitable trade.

There will be many other businesses and sectors in similar circumstances.

I acknowledge the minister has foreshadowed further announcements with respect to these businesses, but he 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.

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