DURING the ACT government’s announcement of the extended lockdown, the chief minister “failed to offer any clear pathway forward” and small businesses have been completely forgotten, according to Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee.
Ms Lee’s comments come after ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr today (September 14) extended the lockdown until October 15, only easing minor restrictions to allow social golf and tennis, real estate viewings and changes to contactless click-and-collect.
Following the announcement Ms Lee said many Canberrans will be rightfully angry and disappointed.
She said it’s unacceptable that whilst announcing a four week extension to lockdown, there are very few changes to restrictions and financial support that will leave many businesses devastated for the foreseeable future.
“This is yet another blow; another slap in the face for small businesses who have been absolutely forgotten by this ACT Labor-Greens government,” she said.
“Thousands of Canberra businesses are yet to receive a cent from the ACT government and over four weeks into a lockdown, this is beyond unacceptable; it is cruel.”
Ms Lee also accused Mr Barr of “spruiking”, for weeks, that today he would provide a roadmap and plan for a safe transition out of lockdown.
“But all he offered was a four week extension with little regard for Canberrans doing it tough,” she said.
“Whilst we respect the health advice keeping Canberrans safe, it is very clear that the Labor-Greens government has turned their back on businesses in the ACT.
“Canberrans are out of jobs, families are struggling to put food on the table; and we are hearing from Canberrans who are on the brink of seeing their lifetime of work going down the drain. They are crying out for some support; they are pleading for some certainty and a plan for a safe transition out of lockdown.
“The Canberra Liberals have real and urgent concerns about the mental health of the business owners that are on the brink of losing everything. These are Canberrans who have given so much to our economy and to our community and this government is leaving them behind.
“The Chief Minister must be upfront with our community and provide some light at the end of the tunnel for our businesses; our parents and teachers; all Canberrans who deserve to know what a safe transition out of lockdown will look like.”
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