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    Member for Lowan Emma Kealy.

Kealy: Need for increase

The entire September 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has continued her call for more patrons to be allowed in hospitality venues as part of regional Victoria COVID-19 restrictions.

Ms Kealy said this needed to happen to ensure financial viability of many businesses.

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The Nationals raised the issue in Parliament earlier this month, arguing patron cap limits for regional hospitality venues were unviable.

“The limits on seated dining of 10 people inside and 20 people outside is unviable for most and does nothing to test what reopening in a low-case, vaccinating environment looks like,” she said.

“I continue to be inundated by local pub, restaurant and winery owners who say they simply cannot afford to open up under these rules.

“The patron cap is not viable when considering the costs of operating with such low customer numbers. It just doesn’t add up for local hospitality businesses.”

The Liberal-Nationals are calling for the government to reopen regional businesses to at least the settings that were in place before July 15.

“Home-based businesses should be allowed back to work with an appropriate COVID-safe plan,” Ms Kealy said. 

“In addition, with the removal of the authorised worker category, all working parents must be allowed to access childcare, including from grandparents.

“Rapid testing is the obvious answer to opening up Victoria, but Premier Daniel Andrews is still reluctant to use this simple but effective tool in this circumstance.

“The Andrews Labor government has again over-promised and under-
delivered for regional businesses.

“If only the government for Melbourne would talk to small businesses and work towards a solution that allows them to open safely and to ensure a small profit, rather than lecturing to them that they should be grateful they are able to open at all.”