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Melbourne shutdown a retrograde step for business and jobs

"The plan to shut down Melbourne for at least six weeks is a retrograde step for business that will cause untold damage to the economy and employment," Tim Piper, the Victorian Head of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

"It's wrong to think that most businesses have an on-off switch that can be flicked without the danger of turning out the lights permanently.

"Some businesses were just starting to recover but now will lose confidence and may be unable to finance a second attempt at recovery.

"It is hard for any business to make investment plans if they face the prospect of being shut down at any time.

"Ai Group has said from the outset that widespread shutdowns is a strategy that can be used just once and decisions need to be made by our political leaders based on a broad range of factors with health as the primary but not only motive. People's livelihoods are also important for their wellbeing.

"While businesses such as manufacturing and construction are being allowed to continue to operate, they are likely to come under further pressure as other businesses close up and confidence in the economy vanishes.

"The Government will need to find new ways to support business and the best way would be to keep this shutdown as short as possible and make it clear that such action will not be taken again. Businesses need to know the government is supporting them and that there will be a clear run to recovery after the current difficult decision," Mr Piper said.

Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301