The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said Gippsland businesses are already suffering the effects of the coronavirus crisis and need state government support now.
Mr O’Brien said the Liberal and Nationals Opposition has this week pressed the Government in Parliament daily on the need for a state-based stimulus or business support program.
“I’ve been talking to local businesses and I know that many are already struggling and having to put-off staff.
“This coronavirus crisis could be a massive economic catastrophe for our local region and while government can’t solve all the issues, we need all the support we can get.
“I’m pleased the Commonwealth has put forward a stimulus plan with more to come but the Andrews Labor Government is conspicuous by its absence.
“Every other state or territory has put forward an assistance program for business. This includes things such as payroll tax waivers and reductions on other fees and charges as well as short term measures to assist business and stimulate local economies.
“I am conscious not to be playing politics at this time but at the same time it’s the role of the opposition to keep the government honest and the role of a local member to represent their constituents.
“This crisis will drag on for some time yet and we need the Andrews Government to be doing all it can.
“Unfortunately, as we saw last week the state budget is already $1.1 billion in deficit which limits the ability of the Government to respond, however some difficult choices must be made, and the Government needs to be doing something to assist business and their employees through this major crisis.”
Local businesses seeking information on the Federal Government program can find more information here https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business
Mr O’Brien also welcomed moves by the major banks to provide support for small business and encouraged local businesses to speak to their banks about any challenges they are facing.