The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has exposed that the Premier failed to consult the Small Business Minister when planning the new operating restrictions for hospitality businesses in regional Victoria.
In Question Time today Ms Lovell questioned the Small Business Minister Jaala Pulford, highlighting the situation faced by the Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo, a venue with a capacity of 600 patrons but will only be able to have 10 patrons inside and 20 patrons outside under the new rules commencing from 11.59pm Thursday night.
In response to Ms Lovell’s question as to whether she had been consulted on the effects the changes will have on regional hospitality venues in her role as Small Business Minister, Ms Pulford refused to answer, stating that the Government followed the health advice of the Chief Health Officer when setting restrictions.
When asked by Ms Lovell if she had seen the health advice that determined the unworkable new restrictions, Ms Pulford again failed to answer and refused to release the advice that will ensure continued hardship for regional Victorian businesses like the Shamrock Hotel.
Ms Lovell said that Ms Pulford’s performance in Question Time showed that the State Government is oblivious to the economic crippling of Victorian businesses caused by lockdowns and the continued heartache that the new restrictions will bring.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Ms Pulford’s answers show that the Andrews Labor Government has nothing but contempt for the livelihoods of Victorian businesses, to the point where they make rules without even consulting the relevant Minister.
“The new rules are so restrictive regarding patron numbers that many businesses will lose money if they open, and the Government needs to reconsider these ridiculous density limits to give Victorian businesses a decent chance to start their economic recovery.”
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