Labor welcomes the early move to Stage 2 restrictions but warns the struggle is far from over for many Tasmanians.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said the early easing of restrictions from this Friday will allow numerous businesses and individuals to return to a more normal way of life but others will need ongoing support.
“The move to bring the start of Stage 2 restrictions forward will be a great relief to many Tasmanians,” Ms White said.
“As well as allowing more businesses to reopen, it will also enable thousands of Tasmanians to enjoy the long weekend, with larger gatherings allowed and people able to visit their shacks and launch their boats.
“This is a tribute to the way Tasmanians have pulled together and worked through this difficult period to comply with isolation, social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
“With the response of the Tasmanian people, our borders still closed and only four active COVID-19 cases, this is the right time to ease restrictions.
“But we mustn’t forget that this is not yet business-as-usual and, for many, support will be needed for some time to come.
“With the ongoing need for social distancing, the tourism and hospitality sectors will feel the effects of the pandemic for longer than many other sectors. As a result, they will need ongoing support to see them through.
“Tasmanian Labor has been pushing for an extension to the JobKeeper program beyond September and we will continue to argue the case for this sensible option to help thousands of Tasmanians relying on this subsidy.
“We will also keep lobbying the Federal Government on behalf of those who have missed out on JobKeeper including casuals, local government workers and temporary visa workers.
“As well, it is vital that those businesses in need of urgent support get it as soon as possible, with fair and equitable distribution of emergency funds.
“Labor again calls on Peter Gutwein to review the administration of the government’s Small Business Emergency Support and Hardship grants program.
“It’s heartening to see Tasmania starting to open up again and people once again on the move in our communities. But as we step back into recovery, we must ensure no-one is left behind.”
Rebecca White MP