Chief Executive Update 18 November 2021

Grab your family, grab your friends, and grab your workmates - it’s time to celebrate and enjoy our state again! The Victorian Chamber was delighted by today’s State Government announcement that it will lift the majority of restrictions across the state which will give all our businesses the best chance to roar back.

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We have advocated strongly on behalf of you, our members and businesses, to ease restrictions once we hit our 90 per cent vaccination target. This announcement will be a game-changer to accelerate our recovery as we head into the holiday period, which is peak time for so many businesses that are ready to make the most of these fabulous new conditions.

The changes to isolation requirements and quarantine periods are vital to make it easier for businesses to stay open and their staff to stay at work. Speaking of work, getting masks off in offices will help drive the return of office workers and will be key to seeing our CBDs and high streets bustling with life. The next step will be removing masks from all retail and hospitality settings for staff, but we aren’t far from this goal.

However, businesses are having to navigate a raft of health and safety requirements to ensure that as we reopen, we can stay open. As a result of recent discussions with members on implications relating to the application of health and safety mandates, the Chamber has partnered with the Victorian Government to establish a COVIDSafe Squad initiative to help businesses to achieve compliance. This confidential, personalised program is something that hasn’t existed until now and we anticipate that it will be in demand as more and more businesses welcome back staff and customers. Essentially the program will help businesses put appropriate plans in place before compliance inspectors potentially arriving.

The past 18 months have been challenging for those of you involved in the visitor economy, but we’re on track for a strong recovery. We’re looking ahead at a bolder, brighter future for tourism and want to get your feedback in our short survey that will inform our vision of a sustainable, innovative, connected visitor economy that positions Victoria as Australia’s premier place to be. It’s a vision we’ll take to Government so we can secure the support and better business conditions the industry needs to grow.

Meanwhile, I am very excited to announce our third public Victoria Summit event, Voices of Tomorrow, on Tuesday 7 December at MCEC. This will be the first time the Victoria Summit community will be able to gather in person following the end of lockdown, and I cannot wait to celebrate the progress of the Summit so far with you all in person! Head to our website for all the details and to book your tickets.

Lastly, a final reminder to apply for our Victorian COVIDSafe Business Awards aimed at recognising industry leaders who have been exemplars in their response to the pandemic and have demonstrated innovative COVID-19 safety and compliance strategies and measures. Applications close COB Thursday.

I hope today’s announcement brings you excitement as we reach the next milestone in our recovery. I can feel a rise in optimism these past couple of weeks with plenty to look forward to as our state roars back to life.

The focus needs to be on getting businesses back into operation and staying open in the new COVIDSafe society. With most restrictions lifted, it will give the business community the shot of confidence it needs to propel our economy and give Victoria a global competitive edge.

Enjoy your week ahead….. today is a great day!

Regards,
Paul.

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