The Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas has welcomed the further easing of COVID restrictions today but says the two square metre rule should have also gone.
“The two square metre rule is having a detrimental effect on small and medium sized business in this state, and it should have been removed with the measures announced today” Dr Thomas said. “It is time for it to go.”
“I am disappointed that the Premier’s media release did not mention the two square metre rule once.”
“This is a rule that undermines entertainment venues in particular, and failing to address it the Premier has put more businesses at risk needlessly.”
Dr Thomas said that although COVID new case numbers are higher today they are still well below the peak of cases identified in the Government’s own modelling, and obviously low enough for the Premier to announce the easing of restrictions.
“I have said repeatedly that the new case numbers will jump around, but the modelling is accurate and reliable and the peak of the current outbreak has been passed” Dr Thomas said.
“The Premier trusts the modelling enough to make change, but is ignoring the obvious one.”
“There are still businesses out there being damaged by the two square metre rule, and the Premier might think there are not enough to matter but I disagree.”
“Scrapping the 500 patron limit is a first step for big venues, but not much use for venues and small businesses that can’t fit more than 500 people in.”
“When asked why it was remaining in his media conference today, the Premier’s rationale was that it is “not a significant restriction”.
“It is significant enough for the businesses it is damaging, and to me every business matters, especially when the damage is unnecessary.