The Liberals must do more to support Tasmania’s tourism and hospitality sector through its COVID-19 recovery.
Tasmanian Labor Leader, Rebecca White, said the Premier can’t continue to ignore growing concerns from the state’s tourism and hospitality sector of an imminent and unrepairable jobs crisis.
“Businesses continue to contact Labor describing pain and uncertainty with many frustrated at the slow pace of lifting restrictions by government given we have had no new cases for over a month and our borders are closed,” Ms White said.
“The state’s tourism and hospitality industry is warning of an irreversible jobs crisis and is urging the government to take immediate action to fix it.
“Many businesses have already missed out on crucial support because of the government’s inequitable Small Business Hardship Grant process and alarmingly already more than 20,000 Tasmanians have lost their jobs from this pandemic.
“If the federal government proceeds with its decision to remove JobKeeper in September then we will see a further rise in the unemployment rate.
Ms White said other states have done better.
“In West Australia restrictions have been significantly lifted to get people back into jobs while tough border measures have remained to keep people safe. However here in Tasmania our borders remain closed and our businesses remain constrained with the government still sitting on the fence about when it is going to make a decision about either.
“The four square metre physical distancing rule poses significant challenges to smaller indoor facilities. In West Australia they have eased their restrictions and have done that with the advice of Public Health, there is no reason Tasmania couldn’t do the same to support people back into work.
“Labor is calling on Peter Gutwein to take action to address Tasmania’s jobs crisis by reconsidering physical distancing requirements, make a decision about when borders will reopen and support a fairer and more equitable grants process so that Tasmania’s small business owners and their employees can actively be a part of the state’s recovery.”