Chief Executive Update 16 June

The business community in Regional Victoria will be relieved today to hear the news of a further easing of restrictions. There is also good news that essentially every business in the state can now operate. But for some larger metropolitan events, hospitality and entertainment venues, the easing of restrictions have not gone far enough, and we still have a difference in settings between Regional and Metropolitan areas.

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 Paul Guerra

Lockdown 4.0 was meant to be a circuit breaker but we are three weeks in to a seven-day lockdown and the end is still some time away for Metropolitan Victoria. Some venues and businesses will be faced with the decision to open and lose money or stay closed. We need to quickly see further easing to enable every business to trade viably.

Head to our website for a full breakdown of the new restrictions on business in both Metropolitan and Regional Victoria.

We know the past three weeks have been extremely tough on Victorian business owners. We know every lockdown is tougher than the last as businesses have depleted their financial reserves, and fatigue and frustration have set in.

The Victorian Chamber is advocating for a detailed and comprehensive plan from the State Government to deal with future COVID-19 outbreaks. It would be great to see further business and community considerations in addition to the health advice in preparing this plan. We know this remains a health issue at its core, but we are learning from other states and countries on effective ways to manage.

Having clarity and confidence is more important now than ever. Victorian businesses are increasingly frustrated with the reliance on shutting down our economy to manage COVID-19. The State Government’s management of COVID-19 has evolved through vaccination, contact tracing, QR Code check-ins, mask wearing and learning from what other states have done. Victoria’s response to COVID-19 must also evolve.

It was pleasing to see that the proactive measure of getting a COVID-19 test before heading to the snowfields has been implemented. The localised lockdown and quick testing of the Southbank apartments was also good to see. Hopefully these types of responses become the norm, and we no longer need to revert to state-wide lockdowns.

Let’s stay positive and continue to make sure we are all doing the right thing and playing our role to control the spread. The greatest weapon in our arsenal in the fight against coronavirus is the vaccine. It was pleasing to see this week that the State Government launched the online booking system. If you are able to get the vaccine, please do so.

A reminder that all Victorian workplaces must now ensure their workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service, no matter how long they are on the premises. However, the Government will give some workplaces time to adapt before enforcement begins. Head to our website for more information.

It’s time to get going, and hopefully the next week we will see further easing of restrictions.

 

Enjoy your week. 

Regards,
Paul Guerra, Chief Executive, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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