Call to get working to help small businesses rebuild after lockdown

Kogarah MP and NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns, Rockdale MP and NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business Steve Kamper, and NSW Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey visiting Rockdale businesses UFC Gym yesterday.
Kogarah MP and NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns, Rockdale MP and NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business Steve Kamper, and NSW Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey visiting Rockdale businesses UFC Gym yesterday.

Local MPs hit the gym yesterday to call on the NSW Government to get working to help small businesses rebuild following lockdown.

Kogarah MP and NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns, Rockdale MP and NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business Steve Kamper, and NSW Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey visited Rockdale businesses UFC Gym and PetO which have experienced some of the toughest lockdown restrictions that have applied to any part of Australia.

They said the local local businesses are among many that will need urgent government assistance to recover after experiencing the brunt of some of the harshest lockdown restrictions in Australia.

More than 200,000 people in NSW are without a job as the 13-week lockdown continues to wreak havoc on the State's economy, new data released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals.

The figures show that NSW suffered the biggest drop in employment in Australia, with 210,000 people having lost their jobs since the lockdown began in June, and 230,000 people leaving the labour market entirely. Two thirds of these have been women.

Across NSW, hours worked crashed by 13 per cent in two months, to the lowest on record since 2014.

Mr Minns said the figures show the urgent need for the Government to release a plan for more financial support to help with not only a recovery for NSW but a rebuild.

"People have done the right thing, particularly in the 12 lockdown LGAs," Mr Minns said.

"They've closed their businesses at the request of the Government, putting their livelihoods on hold - now the Government needs to be there for businesses and workers alike to help them get back up and running again.

"The gym we're standing in right now is in one of the toughest locked-down areas in all of New South Wales. Some of the toughest restrictions that have applied to any part of Australia during the entire pandemic, apply to this gym right here in Rockdale, and we need to do something about it.

"For many businesses like this one here and Pet-O next door, it's not as simple as opening the front door and turning on the light for business to return and customers to come back in. It will require diligent and extremely hard effort on the part of the NSW Government, the Opposition and political leaders right across New South Wales."

NSW Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey described the job numbers as a 'wake-up call', and said the State needed a comprehensive recovery plan.

Mr Kamper pledged NSW Labor's support to the tens-of-thousands of small businesses who were locked into a battle with the State's bureaucracy as they tried to save the jobs of their staff.

Mr Kamper said "there is no doubt that had Mr Perrottet and Damian Tudehope rolled out Job Saver properly, small business could have saved even more jobs.

"Small business needs clear and simple rules so they can get back to doing what they do best: creating decent jobs and making solid profits," he said.