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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, says it’s illogical and unfair that struggling Tasmanian businesses aren’t being offered the same level of Federal Government COVID support as those in other jurisdictions.

“While Tasmania is very fortunate it’s not locked down, half the country is locked out and this is causing diabolical problems for businesses reliant on visitors from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT,” Mr Wilkie said.

“Sectors like tourism, hospitality, the arts and transport are being hit incredibly hard. Airport workers have been laid off, tumbleweeds have been blowing through Salamanca Market and publicans are working second jobs to pay staff.

“In the past 24 hours alone, for example, the Theatre Royal has postponed not one but four shows, citing border restrictions. While I acknowledge state and federal governments have been forthcoming with some pandemic assistance, as outlined today by the Prime Minister and Treasurer in response to my question in Question Time, it’s clearly nowhere near enough.

“A lot of people are hurting and this pain will continue until borders re-open.  But that cannot occur until it can be achieved safely, which is still some time away. In the meantime, there’s a pressing need for more targeted financial support from Canberra for Tasmania’s small to medium-sized businesses so they can weather this very difficult period.

“There is no doubt the Federal Government has the capacity to extend to Tasmania the sort of payments now being offered in other jurisdictions. It’s illogical and unfair for Tasmania to be hung out to dry by Canberra when the reality is that some local businesses are being hit by COVID every bit as hard as businesses in lockdown states.”

Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins Street Hobart 7000