Central Victorian hospitality businesses are once again left reeling after the news the state would enter its sixth lockdown since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic from 8pm tonight.
Australian Hotels Association Victoria executive board member and Hotel Shamrock Bendigo owner Ray Sharawara said the toll on businesses will be "massive again."
"To be honest we hadn't recovered in the same way from lockdown five as we had from lockdown four," he said.
"We've had a lot of forward bookings and they'll now all go. It'll be $80,000 down the drain in the week.
"The personal cost to us is catastrophic."
Mr Sharawara has been advocating for the reinstatement of JobKeeper payments to help businesses navigate lockdowns, and is hopeful substantial support packages will be announced on Friday.
"We're resigned to fact we'll have lockdowns, we don't like them but we'll have them," he said.
"The shorter the better, that's all we want and within reason.
"The association has asked state and federal governments for a plan for businesses and staff; to have our staff compensated. If they work more 20 hours a week for $600 and $375 for under 20 hours. This would be on application and continuing. We think this has been mooted.
"We hope businesses will get compensated based on our size. Hotel's will be compensated on patronage with $20,00 for a capacity over 600 per week but this hasn't been guaranteed.
"This is the sort of parameters we're asking for; we believe firmly in ensuring the community's health, but we need our livelihoods protected."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed in his Thursday afternoon press conference that the Treasurer would be speaking on Friday morning.
Mr Sharawara hopes the state and federal governments will work together on the next business relief support packages.
"We understand it is a combined effort from state and federal governments and they have to agree to do it," he said. "We believe they are talking to each other.
"They can't keep locking us down forever, it just won't work and you can't keep putting non-essential businesses to the sword.
"We're going to suffer from a long time.
"My final message is just get vaccinated. Please, go and do it as quickly as you can."
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