Chronic labour shortages are causing huge issues for business, industry and workers right across Gippsland.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien told Parliament this week that everywhere he goes he is hearing the struggles of small, medium and large businesses who are unable to find staff.
Mr O’Brien raised the matter in State Parliament saying that while there were numerous reasons for the shortage, the Government should be dropping vaccination mandates and considering the need for seven-day isolation for close contacts as two measures that would help rebuild the labour pool.
“There are many businesses across the region at the moment that are having to close on certain days or reduce their hours because they simply don’t have the staff to fill shifts.
“This not only has an impact on the businesses but also can reduce the work available for their existing employees.
“It is also putting enormous pressure on small, family-run businesses and their staff and in some instances is exacerbating customer frustration leading to tension in the workplace.
“There are a number of different reasons for the labour shortage and there are no easy solutions, but it is clear that temporary labour shortages are being caused by the requirement to isolate for seven days when a household contact tests positive to COVID19.
“I have asked the Minister for Health to consider whether this remains a necessary rule, especially given that there are a number of exemptions given for essential staff such as nurses and teachers.
“Equally there are clearly a number of people in the community who cannot work due to vaccination mandates, and while I support mandates for the health and aged care sectors, I don’t believe that there is any justification for the wider mandates to be ongoing.
“These two considerations alone could improve the labour situation and allow our businesses to rebuild and recover.”