Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today called on the Victorian Government to immediately process business support payments to those impacted by the most recent Victorian lockdown.
Visiting Cannibal Creek Bakehouse in Garfield, Mr Blackwood met with business owners David Rushton and Kane Warenycia to hear about the devastating effect being classified as part of the metropolitan zone has had on their business.
‘Here we have our rural and regional towns of Cardinia, being locked in with Melbourne, desperately in need of help yet still they are left waiting for their financial support they were promised by the Victorian Government,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Already these businesses have suffered due to their exclusion from the regional Victoria zone, under the harshest of lockdown settings including travel limits and closure when there was no positive case within the region.
‘And now they are left waiting for payment from the Victorian Government’s business support program with no clarity about if they have been successful or when that assistance will be paid.
‘It’s simply not right and these payments must begin flowing immediately to support the local businesses,’ said Mr Blackwood.
David Rushton and Kane Warenycia of Cannibal Creek Bakehouse said there was a real sense in the community that they felt isolated and forgotten at a time when they needed Government support the most and that he fears future outbreaks may result in the same lockdown with the metropolitan region again.
‘We need to look after and care about people and small business, help and show them the way forward. Not crush and smother them with rules and fines and never-ending restrictions on trade,’ said Mr Rushton.
‘There is also the stress caused by the thoughts of will we go into lockdown again? How can we keep our staff employed? How can we pay bills? How can we continue in uncertain times and how do we trust in a Victorian Government that isn’t looking after us?’.
‘We are here to serve and look after our customers, our staff and our community. We need customers to be able to survive and to be a functioning business,’ Mr Warenycia said.
‘We need clarity about the financial support that we were told was coming to support us. Where is it?’.
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
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