05/02/2021 - 14:00

Business support falls short: Kirkup

05/02/2021 - 14:00


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The Liberal Party has criticised the state government’s $500 credit for small businesses affected by the five-day lockdown, saying it falls well short.

Business support falls short: Kirkup
Zak Kirkup has demanded better support for small businesses affected by the lockdown. Photo: Jesinta Burton

The Liberal Party WA has criticised the state government’s $500 electricity credit for small businesses affected by the five-day lockdown, saying it falls well short and demanding relief grants of up to $10,000.

More than 80,000 small businesses were forced to close their doors last Sunday evening with just four hours' notice, after a locally acquired COVID-19 case prompted a five-day lockdown of the Perth, Peel and South West regions.

Yesterday, the Liberals called on the state government to provide emergency financial support to businesses affected.

This morning, Premier Mark McGowan announced a $500 electricity credit for small business owners, which opposition leader Zak Kirkup said was not good enough.

“We know that there are some 85,000 businesses that have borne the brunt of this lockdown,” he said.

“When compared to other states and territories, this government’s announcement falls well short, with other states and territories rolling out grants of up to $10,000.

“Western Australian businesses, the backbone of our state’s economy, are left wanting.

“A $500 credit simply doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t give the businesses here the support they deserve.

“Our businesses deserve better support from this government, particularly one that is sitting on a $2.1 billion surplus.”

Perth, Peel and the South West are expected to transition out of the five-day lockdown at 6pm tonight after confirmation that WA had not recorded any new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 overnight.

Mr McGowan outlined the state’s planned lockdown during a press conference last night, with restrictions to be lifted completely in the South West, while masks will remain mandatory in the Perth and the Peel regions.

Under the plan, formed by the State Disaster Council, Western Australians will be free to leave their homes, with schools, businesses and retail venues allowed to reopen, but masks will remain mandatory indoors, outdoors and on public transport.

Only essential travel will be permitted in and out of the Perth and Peel regions to other parts of WA.

Provided the state continues to record no new locally acquired cases, the transitional restrictions are expected to be in place until 12:01am on Sunday February 14.

The transition from the lockdown aims to help bring confidence while the state waits for further testing and the virus’s full 14-day incubation period.


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