The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, has demanded the Andrews Labor Government take regional businesses back to the future.
Mr Walsh said at the very least; regional businesses need to be reset to the rules in place before July 15.
He said right now regional Victorian businesses – especially hospitality – are being hung out to dry with ridiculous caps of 10 people indoors at any one time; and 20 outside with no plan in sight to improve that.
“But the Liberal Nationals do have a plan, I have spoken to many business owners and actually listened to what they had to say,” Mr Wash said.
“They are not seeking a revolution; they get we need to handle the road back to an open society with caution; they are simply asking for a fair go,” he said.
“That’s why our plan means at a minimum, we must have density limits in hospitality – 4sqm indoors and 1.5m outside – instead of draconian patron caps.
“As part of the plan we must also urgently reopen indoor fitness venues as much for people’s physical and mental wellbeing as for saving owners from financial ruin.”
Mr Walsh said he has met with several hotel owners in recent days and they all had the same message – this is the 11th time they have been given ‘relaxed’ restrictions from lockdowns and other snap measures.
And there is their 11th set of rules under which they can open.
“These current restrictions were clearly designed for headlines praising a Premier in the Melbourne media; but the brutal reality is they are unworkable, unusable and confirm Daniel Andrews doesn’t really give a damn about regional Victoria,” Mr Walsh explained.
“They also do nothing to test what reopening in a low case, vaccinating environment looks like,” he said.
“In our plan home-based businesses should be allowed back to work with an appropriate COVID-safe plan and with the removal of the authorised worker category, all working parents must be allowed to access childcare, including from grandparents.”
Mr Walsh said regional recovery is not simply business recovery – important though that is – regional communities are also their sporting leagues, their service clubs, and their community events.
That’s why the Liberal Nationals are putting out a comprehensive plan for regional recovery that includes everyone.
“Every day the city-centric Andrews Labor Government fails to let regional businesses open profitably is another day when a regional business goes to the wall,” Mr Walsh added.
“What regional Victoria needs is a plan for recovery, not a fake lifting of restrictions that stops too many businesses and workers from building a post-COVID future,” he said.
“The beauty of living in the regions is not simply about our fabulous local businesses, it’s also our community activities. Regional Victoria needs a plan for the reopening of community sport and community events for our regional communities to recover.”