The Victorian Government announced on Wednesday the state’s seven-day lockdown would continue for another week in Melbourne while some restrictions will be eased across regional areas from midnight Thursday.
The extension comes as authorities struggle to contain the city’s coronavirus outbreak after six new cases were recorded on Wednesday, bringing the cluster’s total to 60.
Restaurateur Liam Ganley owns high end steak house Angus & Bon in Prahan, and St Kilda businesses, The Fifth Province, an Irish bar and eatery, and beer and burger house Freddie Wimpoles.
Across the three venues, he has around 70 staff members – of which around half are casual employees who live off their pay week to week.
Melburnian businesses are struggling through another lockdown, with thousands out of work (pictured, a waitress in the city before the latest restrictions came in)
Business owner Colin Moxey, who owns a self-named hair salon in South Yarra, has been forced to reschedule about 125 clients, backloading his appointments each day the lockdown continues
Although he is haemorrhaging thousands of dollars on rent, stock, and staff leave entitlements, Mr Ganley has launched a daily meal service to feed his broke casual staff have not been granted government assistance through this lockdown.
‘I am angry. How Covid has been handled in Victoria is a disgrace,’ Mr Ganley told Daily Mail Australia.
‘As a business owner, I have lost all faith in the state government. They are clearly inept at contract tracing or managing this virus. Other states have shown they can handle it, why can’t Victoria?
‘We have had no support since the federal government subsidies stopped. To leave people in limbo, unsure where they are going to get their next pay check is an absolute disgrace.’
While the majority of his workers are full-time, Mr Moxey estimates he is losing $30,000 a week in lost earnings
Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino renewed calls for the federal government to activate JobKeeper-style support as Melbourne’s lockdown drags on another week
Mr Ganley said he was not surprised by the lockdown, which seems to be a ‘trend’ in Victoria.
He was concerned if the federal government do offer the state government hand outs, they will continue to stay in lockdown.
Mr Ganley said they are in limbo, and are not sure when they will be able to reopen.
He also said young people are leaving hospitality because it is too unstable, and his staff’s mental health has been impacted by the lockdown.
‘They are literally struggling to put food on the table at the moment. Obviously we want to look after our staff, but it is putting more stress on businesses. It should not be our responsibility,’ he said.
‘On a personal level, we have suppliers that still want to be paid. We have to pay our suppliers. We have loan, rents, due insurances. We have lost all subsidies. All food that we had for seven days won’t last.’
Business owner Colin Moxey, who owns a self-named hair salon in South Yarra, has been forced to reschedule about 125 clients, backloading his appointments each day the lockdown continues.
Restaurateur Liam Ganley owns high end steak house Angus & Bon in Prahan, and St Kilda businesses, The Fifth Province, an Irish bar and eatery, and beer and burger house Freddie Wimpoles
Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino announced the state would continue lockdown for another work but with some concessions for regional Victoria
While the majority of his workers are full-time, Mr Moxey estimates he is losing $30,000 a week in lost earnings.
‘Each session is around $100 average, so it is a big whack,’ Mr Moxey said.
‘It has been a tough year for us. We had a flood, so we had to move salons for two months. We have only been back four weeks, then this happened.
‘So now I am thinking, ‘what is next?’
‘I am almost used to it. You get numb to it. It is sad. Everyone has been impacted, my suppliers, the window cleaner, everybody who helped up.
Restaurateur Liam Ganley owns high end steak house Angus & Bon in Prahan (pictured), and St Kilda businesses, The Fifth Province, an Irish bar and eatery, and beer and burger house Freddie Wimpoles
‘They are doing incredibly well. We had drinks over zoom. We tried to keep things upbeat and keep in touch. Everyone got involved with our socials.’
Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino renewed calls for the federal government to activate JobKeeper-style support as Melbourne’s lockdown drags on another week.
The Victorian government has thrown an extra $209 million into its support package to help businesses doing it tough through the latest shutdown.
When announcing the initial $250million package on Sunday, Treasurer Tim Pallas unleashed on federal counterpart Josh Frydenberg for declining to chip in with financial support for workers.
Mr Merlino said Mr Pallas had again reached out to Mr Frydenberg on Wednesday morning to formally request the federal government reconsider its stance, and he would soon start lobbying the prime minister himself.
RESTRICTIONS IN VICTORIA FROM 11.59PM ON JUNE 3
Changes will come in for all Victorians from 11.59pm on June 3, with rules relaxed in regional Victoria but few changes for Melbourne
Under the strict rules in Melbourne, there are a number of restrictions:
Stay-at-home order with just five reasons to leave the house:
– Shopping for necessary goods and services
– Going to work or permitted education
– Exercise with a two-hour limit
– Medical reasons and care giving
– Getting vaccinated
As well as this, there will be serious restrictions on people’s personal life, business, work and school:
– No visitors to your home other than an intimate partner. Single bubbles will be permitted. If you live alone, you can make a bubble with another person.
– 10km travel limit for exercise and shopping
– Compulsory masks indoors and outdoors unless in the home
– No public gatherings.
– Restaurants, pubs, and cafes can provide takeaway only.
– Essential retail, so supermarkets, food stores, petrol stations, banks, bottle shops and pharmacies, other retail stores can provide click and collect.
– Childcare and kinders will be open as per the last circuit breaker lockdown earlier this year.
– Approved professional sporting events will proceed but proceed without crowds.
– Schools are remote learning, except for vulnerable children, children of authorised workers, Year 11s and Year 12s
– Higher education will move to remote learning only.
– Community support and recreation, accommodation, but there will be some exemptions that apply.
– Hotels, clubs, TABs and the casino will be closed.
– Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimming pools, spas, saunas, indoor and outdoor springs, community venues, drive in cinemas, amusements parks and arcades, creative studios, art galleries and museums, tourism, tours, and transport, and auctions can only happen online.
– Aged care facilities, no visitors except for limited reasons.
– In our hospitals, visitors only for end of life, to support a partner during birth, or a parent accompanying a child.
– In terms of ceremonies, funerals, a maximum of 10 people plus those running the service.
– Weddings cannot proceed unless end of life or deportation reasons apply.
– Religious activities will not proceed other than through broadcast with a maximum of five people.
For regional Victoria:
– Stay-at-home order removed
– No travel limit, but can only go to Melbourne for a permitted reasons (healthcare, emergencies etc)
– Outdoor gatherings can be 10 people
– Food and hospitality open for food only, max 50 people inside
– Retail and beauty open
– 10 at weddings and 50 at funerals
Chapel Street Precinct General Manager Chrissie Maus said the lack of government support packages and lost revenue keeps him up at night.
‘Even just seven days of the lockdown has had breathtaking monumental economic costs that no government grant could even come close to covering,’ Ms Maus said.
‘Small businesses are again making heartbreaking decisions about whether to lay-off staff or destroy inventory, especially given the latest Victorian government trader support package is a joke and now nicknamed the ‘nothing package’.
‘It’s embarrassingly disproportionate to the harrowing financial losses. For example, many Melbourne restaurants would have lost a minimum $40,000 this weekend and might be given $2,500 to $3,500 from the government (if they are lucky). What is being given to businesses is equivalent to crumbs.’