The Nationals WA have welcomed the State Government’s announcement to release a roadmap for when, where and how COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia will be relaxed and called for a stimulus package to be launched at the same time.
Leader Mia Davies MLA said the Government’s post-COVID-19 roadmap would need to be backed up with dollars to help the State transition from lockdown to the new normal.
“In particular we want to see money on the table for regional tourism, a sector that has been devastated and will struggle to recuperate without support,” Ms Davies said.
“A statewide fund for destination marketing and a stimulus package made available to reboot businesses as we emerge from the lockdown would be a good start.
“All avenues for getting the economy going must be considered, including funds to encourage and assist regional local governments to bring forward projects.”
Ms Davies said with consistently low numbers of COVID-19 cases in the regions, talk has shifted to how much longer businesses could survive and what was needed to get them back on their feet.
The Nationals have been pushing for greater support for small businesses that have fallen through the gaps of Federal and State funding programs.
“To date, the Premier and Treasurer have resisted broadening support measures, saying they need to hold back dollars for the recovery period,” Ms Davies said.
“There’s not much point saving money for later if businesses are going broke now and we need them to be open and ready for business when restrictions are lifted.
“The perfect example is the Water Minister who is still dragging his heels on the toilet tax while businesses that are closed with no income must continue to pay an exorbitant charge per fixture to the Water Corporation – he needs to act now!”
Ms Davies said the roadmap needed to be as detailed as possible to give communities, businesses and industry the opportunity to appropriately prepare for the transition out of lockdown.
“So many businesses are doing it tough and are champing at the bit to know when they can start gearing up for whatever our new normal will look like.”
Ms Davies congratulated all West Australians for their patience and understanding during the COVID-19 restrictions and encouraged everyone to keep adhering to the Government and medical advice to stay safe and healthy.