Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is backing the local hospitality industry’s call on the Federal Government not to end the JobKeeper Scheme.
“The Morrison Government must not end JobKeeper too early,” Chesters said.
“I have met with a number of locals in the hospitality and tourism industry who have told me that we are far from the recovery stages of this pandemic.
“With capacity limits in place and Melbourne lockdown continuing, our restaurants, bars and cafes are still relying on support packages to stay afloat.
In the Bendigo electorate, up to 4233 local businesses may be forced to close their doors if JobKeeper ends early, which could mean approximately 16,086 local workers would be forced into unemployment.
“I’m calling on the Morrison Government to extend JobKeeper and save local jobs.
“Cancelling JobKeeper too early would have a devastating impact on local businesses and households,” Chesters said.
“The Federal Government must detail what form of support the hospitality sector can expect when JobKeeper ends in September must be provided without delay to ensure more jobs are not lost.
“It is unreasonable to expect the sector to simply “snap back” with the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic and it is unworkable to expect it to wait any longer for more information about what assistance might be provided.”
Ann-Maree Davis from Sangria Spanish Tapas Bar said the current lockdown in Melbourne has put even more pressure on the viability of their business.
“With JobKeeper scheduled to end in September, we believe there will be insufficient time for the local economy to recover from the current restrictions.
“With the return to restrictions for Melbourne and Mitchell LGA’s for the next 6 weeks we have been experiencing cancellations for forward bookings from customers in postcodes which are locked down and local customers.
“Given the size of our venue and the physical distancing requirements we have only been able to have a maximum of 20 customers.
“If JobKeeper finishes too early it would be a catastrophic outcome for our industry with the viability of many businesses including our own in doubt.