The Committee for Mornington Peninsula has asked Premier Daniel Andrews to explain why Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions remain on the Peninsula when they have been relaxed in other local government areas.
“The CfMP and other groups and residents have been asking the Premier and his Government for clarity for several weeks about why the Mornington Peninsula continues to be included in the metropolitan lockdown despite currently having less cases than some regional areas that are able to open for trading,” said president Shannon Smit.
“The Shire of Colac Otway, which is open for business, has 20 active cases, yet the Mornington Peninsula Shire, with only two active cases, is still in Stage 4 restrictions. We ask the Premier to urgently and publicly clarify the reason for the continued restrictions on the Mornington Peninsula; our businesses and residents deserve to have the rationale explained.”
Ms Smit said the CfMP welcomed the State Government’s announcement of extra support for Melbourne businesses “but would welcome a similar targeted approach for other municipalities, particularly the Mornington Peninsula, which is so dependent upon the hospitality and tourism trade”.
“Each municipality across Victoria has been impacted in different ways, and we encourage the Andrews Government to look at the needs of each municipality, not just the City of Melbourne. Victoria’s economy is not solely reliant upon a single municipality’s input. Our research points to many Mornington Peninsula businesses being on the brink and in desperate need of hope and a road out of the current punishing business conditions, and we ask the Andrews Government to look beyond the City of Melbourne for providing dedicated recovery funds.
“Summer is around the corner, and the CfMP is concerned that without State Government funding such as that granted to the City of Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula businesses are going to miss out on key opportunities in the recovery phase. A handbrake on summer trade and missed opportunities to commence recovery will mean many great Mornington Peninsula businesses will not survive.
“The CfMP welcomes the outdoor eating and entertainment package and hopes that it also means that amendments for liquor licensees to extend their ‘red line’ and road and carpark closures managed by VicRoads are able to be fast-tracked along with other State Government requirements.
“The CfMP are, however, concerned about the announcements regarding payroll tax deferral. Alongside the federal company tax deferral, this could present huge problems when the debt comes due. A better approach, we think, would have been to waive payroll tax.”
Ms Smit said the CfMP’s concerns for the economic recovery of the Peninsula were reinforced by data prepared by Remplan, an area-specific data provider, which showed that before the lockdown on the Peninsula:
• The total employment across all industry sectors was estimated at 52,682; for July, it was estimated at 49,389 – a fall of 6.3 per cent;
• The total monthly output across all industry sectors was estimated at $1.305 billion; for July, it was estimated at $1.180 billion – a fall of 9.6 per cent;
• The total monthly expenditure for wages and salaries across all industry sectors was estimated at $329.539 million; for July, it was estimated at $309.916 million – a fall of 6 per cent; and,
• The total monthly value added across all industry sectors was estimated at $622.081 million; for July, it was estimated at $528.796 million – a fall of 15 per cent.