small business | September 14, 2021

Hospitality patron caps must be increased

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is continuing her call for greater patron numbers to be allowed in hospitality venues to ensure financial viability for local businesses.

The Nationals raised the issue in Parliament last week, saying that patron cap limits announced for regional hospitality venues were unviable.

“The limits on seated dining of 10 people inside and 20 people outside, announced by Daniel Andrews for regional Victorian hospitality venues, is unviable for most and does nothing to test what reopening in a low case, vaccinating environment looks like,” Ms Kealy 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 Labor to reopen all regional businesses to at least the settings that were in place before 15 July.

“Home-based businesses should be allowed back to work with an appropriate COVID-safe plan. In addition, with the removal of the authorised worker category, all working parents must be allowed to access childcare, including from grandparents,” Ms Kealy said.

“Rapid testing is the obvious answer to opening up Victoria, but Premier 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.”

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