COSBOA and its members are relieved about Victoria opening up. COSBOA notes that from midnight tomorrow, retail, hospitality and beauty will be able to reopen, and further easing of restrictions will take place on 8 November.
COSBOA congratulates the people of Victoria in achieving this outcome. You have done a good job in managing the health crisis, something that is very apparent when looking at the recent surges in cases in European countries such as the UK, Spain and France.
We understand that businesses and individuals must continue to be vigilant in containing the COVID-19 virus.
We encourage people in Victoria to spend money at local small businesses rather than at larger businesses this week if they are able to do so, because it is small businesses who have suffered most from the lock down.
Up until this announcement we have been disappointed at the lack of understanding on the part of the Victorian Government of the broader impact of the lock down on the community, on small business people, on their employees, and on their customers. We hope that, with the success of the lock down, this understanding changes as we all collectively work together to rebuild Victoria’s economy and jobs. We must focus on health and on jobs – at the same time - as other states have done.
COSBOA has mentioned before that a ‘COVID normal Victoria’ should not include having hundreds of thousands of unemployed people; that is a normal that we do not want. The Victorian decision makers continue to show either no understanding of business or no interest.
Put simply, the health crisis has been largely resolved. But the job on repairing the severe damage done to Victorian businesses and jobs must begin in earnest - and must involve real consultation with the business community.
The questions are:
Where is the public COVID management plan with information on the number of contact tracers in regions, the time frame for COVID response teams to react, the make-up of COVID response teams, and how hot spots will be managed?
Where is the economic plan for Victoria? On what date will the Victorian budget be presented?
Will the Victorian Government now develop effective consultation with the business community to ensure future management of COVID safety and the economy, or will they continue to leave the future of Victoria in the hands of very few people who do not understand business?
Any continuing lack of focus on jobs and the economy would show the lack of awareness of how communities and an economy works.
Show us the economic plan. Show us the plans for managing hot spots and show us the approach to contact tracing. Include the business community in the planning and the process. Then we can have some type of certainty in uncertain times.