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Victoria – easing of restrictions: Ai Group comment

Today's announcements on state restrictions is a step in the right direction for community and businesses – but it still leaves many businesses extremely vulnerable.

"We welcome the sensible changes to manufacturing arrangements, meat processing and abattoir arrangements in metro and regional areas and to the food distribution wholesaling employee numbers," Victorian Ai Group Head Tim Piper said today.

"However, there remains uncertainty for businesses given the aggressive suppression strategy that threatens to permanently suppress businesses as well as the virus. Chasing the 0–5 number of cases per day seems a step too far and leaves businesses uncertain about their future.

"There are positive steps that have been taken but the Roadmap leaves some manufacturers and distributors unable to compete with their interstate colleagues because of the employee numbers restriction remaining. While the community will welcome the abolition of the curfew, there will be long-term implications from the impact of the overly harsh restrictions for many businesses in terms of their continued existence, to the desire to invest in Victoria and their ability to employ people.

"Ai Group looks forward to sensible, reasonable and proportionate easing of restrictions and better targeting of future action towards specific risk areas rather than the entire community. We also look for a Roadmap to support the community should these measures not work in the medium term," Mr Piper said.

Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301