Dance schools across Victoria face yet another roadblock, following an Andrews Labor Government backflip that would have allowed them to open under Step 3.
It is understood that the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on the weekend confirmed to Ausdance that dance studios would be classified as ‘creative studios’ and allowed to open under Step 3, however that decision was overruled and the advice retracted a day later in a blow to the industry.
Instead dance studios have been classified as ‘indoor fitness’, forcing them to remain closed until potentially November 23.
Mr Blackwood said the decision made no sense given other indoor industries with greater direct contact and exposure were opening.
‘We have a situation where dance schools, who have large open rooms, with non-contact activity occurring, cannot open to support students, families and associated businesses,’ said Mr Blackwood.
‘Yet close contact businesses including hairdressing, remedial massage, tattooing, beauty and others are now able to safely operate.
‘We also have young Victorians aged under 18 able to undertake contact sports now in regional Victoria.
‘Local dance schools have reached out to me in frustration. They have COVID safe strategies ready to go. They have no shared equipment for students, they can socially distance and reduce class sizes if needed, they have a plan to increase cleaning between classes and movement plans to reduce cross contact.
‘We know the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions had deemed these studios safe and had recognised their value to students.
‘There are more than 1,000 dance studios in Victoria, employing over 5,000 Victorian’s, yet the Andrews Labor Government have chosen to reverse this decision putting at risk not only jobs, but the mental, social and physical wellbeing of students.
‘Daniel Andrews needs to fix this situation. He must look at these businesses, their specific situation, and get behind the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions who had already given this industry the green light,’ Mr Blackwood said.
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
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