Businesses left scratching their heads as goalposts change

Business are being put under additional strain because of unclear and changing information from the State Government, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has told Parliament.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Ms Britnell highlighted issues surrounding the opening of Gyms on Wednesday and the out of the blue change that meant a COVID Marshall would be required.

Ms Britnell spoke with Anytime Fitness Warrnambool Manager Jade Thwaites who was forced to close her doors on Wednesday night because of the sudden change to Government requirements.

“When Jade phoned the COVID hotline on Tuesday to check they had everything in place to open first thing Wednesday morning – there was no mention of a COVID Marshal,” Ms Britnell said.

“In the Premier’s announcement on Sunday there was no mention of a COVID marshal. As of 7pm last night (Wendesday), gyms were not on the Government’s list of businesses required or recommended to have a COVID Marshal.

“The first anyone knew about it was via a Facebook post at 1pm on Wednesday that confirmed a COVID Marshal was a required for the entire time a gym is operational.

“So last night Jade again had to close the doors of her 24-hour gym. After starting work at 5am having no clue about this requirement, she had no way of having a COVID Marshal on site for the evening at such short notice.”

Ms Britnell said the Government needed to provide businesses with all the information from the start so they could safely re-open and not be surprised by sudden changes.

“How can businesses be expected to be compliant when they are told one thing, but once they re-open the rules and requirements are suddenly changed?” she said.

“Businesses like gyms and other personal services like beauty are already under huge strain – the last thing they need are these last-minute changes that aren’t communicated properly and have a huge impact in how they can operate.


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