Call for faster and fairer small business lockdown support

The Opposition is urging the McGowan Government to speed up and make fairer its business compensation packages for Covid lockdowns. File picture

WHETHER businesses affected by the Perth-Peel four-day lockdown including those involved in regional tourism will be able to get some sort of assistance package is still to be decided.

At a press conference yesterday morning Premier Mark McGowan said the government was still to look at what assistance would be provided but he said last time businesses had been offered a $2000 payment.

After the Anzac Day long weekend lockdown Perth, Rottnest and Peel small businesses with a payroll of less than $4 million were able to apply for a small business lockdown assistance grant.

To be eligible they needed to be able to demonstrate losses incurred for perishable goods, cancellations or other unforeseen costs due to the restrictions.

Some tourism-related businesses who spoke to Yanchep News Online after Anzac Day said they had lost bookings or perishables such as meat and fish.

Opposition Treasury spokesman Steve Thomas said the latest restrictions highlighted the need for the McGowan Government to speed up and make fairer its business compensation packages.

“Once again businesses are prevented from opening throughout the Perth and Peel regions, and once again travel to the regions is blocked, and we still have a backlog of claims from previous lockdowns like the Anzac Day weekend,” he said.

“The government needs to make the system far more user friendly and far more efficient. “How many businesses have been paid their $2000 from two months ago?

“In fact, how many businesses have even been notified that their applications from April have been successful.”

Dr Thomas said he was assuming regional businesses would once again miss out on any compensation package, despite the cancelled bookings and food going to waste as customers were unable to leave Perth.

He said if the government decided lockdowns were necessary on health grounds, they had the cash capacity to support affected businesses.

“Making financial support for businesses too hard to access or too late to support them is simply not good enough.”

Meanwhile, WA has recorded one new local case and three overseas cases of Covid-19 overnight.

This morning Mr McGowan said the new local case (case 1028) was a 37-year-old man who had visited Mobius Health and Performance in Joondalup.

Mr McGowan said it was unknown yet when the man had become infected but on Tuesday, June 22 he had attended the Joondalup gym at the same time as the female physiotherapist (case 1022) who contracted Covid-19 while in Sydney.

The 37-year-old man was also at the gym on Saturday, June 26 during the same time as a woman in her 30s (case 1023) who was the second community case reported in the northern suburbs.

“Case 1028 did the right thing and went and got tested and quarantined on Sunday, June 27,’’ he said.

“That test returned a negative result.

“He subsequently developed symptoms and was re-tested yesterday and has now returned a positive result.’’

Mr McGowan said it was important for anyone who had been at the gym since Tuesday until now and who had not been tested or contacted by WA Health to go and get tested immediately.

Check the latest public exposure sites.