Speech to Parliament by Libby Coker MP on 15 February 2022:
Businesses in my electorate have been doing it tough during the pandemic. Hammered by lockdowns over the past two years, they are now trying to overcome the omicron outbreak that has set them back yet again, but this time it's worse with little to no federal government support and no available rapid antigen tests for staff.
I spoke to a local bookshop owner, Matt Davis, who summed up the mood of many local business people when he said: 'If my wife and I ran our bookshop like the Morrison government runs the country, we'd be out of business.'
From the lack of RATs over the peak period of the omicron outbreak to the continued shadow lockdown and a lack of federal government support, businesses in my electorate are really struggling to make ends meet, let alone remain profitable.
Omicron has been worse this year with the lockdowns for many businesses. With little financial support from the federal government, these businesses are struggling to stay afloat. JobKeeper has ended and the financial pain for businesses has not.
Businesses had been looking to recoup losses over the summer period, and yet they are about to shut their doors because they have not been able to have staff there and haven't been able to test them with rapid antigen tests.
State and territory governments have stepped in and offered to supply packages for businesses during the omicron wave. The Morrison government is again missing in action. People in my electorate have done the right thingwe're wearing masks, we've been vaccinated, we've home-schooled our kidsand we need help from the government.