“Today’s announcement by the Victorian Government to ease restrictions is a good start, but it will unfortunately do little to materially assist the economy or improve the mental health of people in metropolitan Melbourne who will remain feeling very restricted,” Tim Piper, the Victorian Head of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
“The additional government support is welcome and will help some businesses and the eased restrictions will enable many to open. However, turning a profit for those in the services sector will remain extremely difficult.
“We will see people back at work, which is a positive. But with the severe restrictions on numbers in offices, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas and at events, the Victorian economy will remain under great stress.
“The State Government should remove restrictions for Metro Melbourne people travelling to regional areas. All of Victoria needs impetus and support, that includes allowing Melburnians to travel to regional Victoria.
“We had one linked case today. That isn’t enough to impose restrictions at this level. Let’s trust the testing and tracing that has been developed. If need be, we can place restrictions on smaller areas rather than across the city.
“The Victorian Government and health bureaucrats should move quickly remove the remaining restrictions. Government has made additional funding available to assist really hard hit businesses, which is very welcome, but the best support is to let them open.
“Widespread anecdotal evidence suggests that people have felt the negative effects of this lockdown far more quickly and to a greater extent, particularly with regard to their mental well-being,” Mr Piper said.