East Gippslanders need to be able to support local businesses
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East Gippslanders need to be able to support local businesses

With changes to Coronavirus restrictions to be announced this Sunday (September 6) for implementation the following Sunday (September 13), Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is seeking an outcome that will allow East Gippslanders to support East Gippsland businesses.
“Dependent on what happens in Melbourne between now and then, if travel restrictions to rural areas need to be kept in place, so be it, but it is critical we allow our local businesses - including restaurants, cafes and pubs - to again open for local patrons as they did in stage two last time.
“While many have been able to get by through to now by operating with altered business plans, including expanded take away menus and home deliveries, they cannot survive for ever with this model.
“I have been contacted by a range of business people over recent weeks, stating that if they cannot open their doors to sit down patrons on September 13, they will likely have to close. The reality is some businesses already have closed and will not re-open, so we simply have to stop the damage.
“It is about a common-sense balance. While we need to get local businesses opening their doors again, we cannot take unnecessary health risks. One does not have to be exclusive to the other, it can be achieved with careful consideration and planning and co-operative communities.
“Under stage two last time, we had up to 20 people visiting cafes and restaurants and this was being done without any detrimental impact as local business people and patrons adhered to the rules. We at least need something similar in place as a first step on September 13 in rural areas.
“The situation in Melbourne is trending well at present, but should there be a relapse, by all means maintain or strengthen restrictions where required around travel and the like, but it is crucial we are able to start allowing locals to support our local enterprises that are hurting.”
Metung Hotel image courtesy of Visit Victoria Content Hub