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A new plan to get shoppers back in store sooner

Victorian retailers would soon welcome back shoppers in-store sooner under the Victorian Liberal Nationals’ Plan to Reopen, Recover, Rebuild.

Retailers across all sectors have been some of the hardest hit by Labor’s six lockdowns.

Across Victoria, clothes shops, homewares, beauty shops, tailors, toy shops and speciality stores have been forced to close time and again and are now on the brink of closure.

Latest ABS retail trade figures show devastating falls in retail turnover across several categories, including clothing retailing (down 29.6%), footwear and personal accessory retailing (down 28.8%), newspaper and book retailing (down 24.1%), department stores (down 26%).

Worse still, under Labor, retailers will remain limited to click and collect or outdoor only trade for weeks to come – a completely unviable option for countless businesses.

Under the Victorian Liberal Nationals’ positive plan to get our state back on track, all Victorian retail businesses would be allowed to welcome back patrons in store under a 1 person per 4 square metres rule.

These new measures will be introduced once Victoria reaches the key National Cabinet 70 per cent vaccination threshold, and mirror arrangements in New South Wales.

Furthermore, the Victorian Liberal Nationals’ plan will freeze all existing small business municipal businesses levies and block the introduction of additional fees for a period of four years, protecting retailers from new or increased charges as they find their feet again.

With New South Wales now safely emerging from lockdown and reopening its retail sector, we must implement these common sense measures here and give our retailers a fighting chance.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Small Business, David Southwick:

“Only Labor could have a plan to run a clothes shop or a tailor on the street. We need a new path forward.

“Retail is the lifeblood of community precincts across Victoria, our social and economic recovery relies of getting local shops back up and running.

“The Liberal Nationals have a plan to get shoppers back in store and to rebuild our retail sector.”

Comments attributable to CEO Australian Retailers Association, Paul Zahra:

“Six lockdowns have devastated retail in Victoria and we need a pathway forward that gives certainty and gets shoppers safely back in store.

“Outdoor only operation for retail is completely unviable.

“If New South Wales can do it, why can’t Victoria? Let’s get a common sense plan to bring our retailers back to life.”

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